iRobot and the Autonomous Home

Will your home robots be "talking" tomorrow?

Jan 15, 2014 at 11:00PM

Get a glimpse of what's on the tech horizon with Foolish reports from the field at the 2014 International Consumer Electronics Show. Companies ranging from start-ups to Fortune 100 launch and showcase thousands of products at the event, which attracts visitors from around the world.

With so much connected tech these days, it seems like all our devices are online or talking to each other. CEO Colin Angle has spoken of how iRobot (NASDAQ:IRBT) may play a role in this "Internet of things."

Thanks to an uncanny ability to identify key trends in technology, David Gardner has established a market-thumping track record. Investors have seen a slew of storylines coming out of CES 2014, but the real challenge is recognizing where the opportunities truly lie. Click here to get David's latest thinking on where you should be invested to profit on the future of technology.

A full transcript follows the video.

Austin Smith: Probably one of the most commonly used words here at CES is "connectivity," right? All these devices speaking to each other -- this idea of the Internet of things.

As you guys expand out and you have different robots in different cleaning categories, from gutters to hardwood floors to mopping, do you think that robotic connectivity of all these devices is a big part of iRobot's future or is it not something that you think is a part of these future robots and designs and features that you guys are going to have?

iRobot: Right, that's a really hot topic. Even Colin Angle, our CEO, has gone on record talking about that and how iRobot might play a role. It's on everybody's mind; you can see the industry going that way. Everything is connected in some way, and we're no exception.

Colin has talked about this notion of the autonomous home and what kind of role we could play in that. When you look around at the types of products we have, it's not a stretch to see how these things could play a role in helping your home take care of itself.

That's certainly something that we pay close attention to, that our leaders are looking very closely at. We like even being here and being able to see what other people are doing too. It's certainly a topic that's on the top of our mind as well.

Smith: Great. Last question; it seems like you've got a lot of children here -- it's hard to pick your favorite! Which iRobot product or category do you think is most exciting today, that's most interesting to you, that you think people should really be checking out?

iRobot: Oh, how do you choose? I think it's always the thing that is newest that's most exciting. We just launched the Scooba 450, which is really exciting for us.

As I mentioned, we've been making robots for a while. We've learned a lot about how to make robots, and this one has a lot of the latest knowledge on how to put things together, how to manufacture it, how to make a great product -- that is very complicated -- really simple to use and do a job that people don't like, which is cleaning up after maybe your kids or cleaning up after a messy kitchen.

This is really cool. It's brand-new. We're excited, just because of that alone.

Smith: Awesome. Thank you so much for your time. Appreciate the answers.

Check back to for more coverage of CES 2014.

Austin Smith has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends iRobot. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

4 in 5 Americans Are Ignoring Buffett's Warning

Don't be one of them.

Jun 12, 2015 at 5:01PM

Admitting fear is difficult.

So you can imagine how shocked I was to find out Warren Buffett recently told a select number of investors about the cutting-edge technology that's keeping him awake at night.

This past May, The Motley Fool sent 8 of its best stock analysts to Omaha, Nebraska to attend the Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholder meeting. CEO Warren Buffett and Vice Chairman Charlie Munger fielded questions for nearly 6 hours.
The catch was: Attendees weren't allowed to record any of it. No audio. No video. 

Our team of analysts wrote down every single word Buffett and Munger uttered. Over 16,000 words. But only two words stood out to me as I read the detailed transcript of the event: "Real threat."

That's how Buffett responded when asked about this emerging market that is already expected to be worth more than $2 trillion in the U.S. alone. Google has already put some of its best engineers behind the technology powering this trend. 

The amazing thing is, while Buffett may be nervous, the rest of us can invest in this new industry BEFORE the old money realizes what hit them.

KPMG advises we're "on the cusp of revolutionary change" coming much "sooner than you think."

Even one legendary MIT professor had to recant his position that the technology was "beyond the capability of computer science." (He recently confessed to The Wall Street Journal that he's now a believer and amazed "how quickly this technology caught on.")

Yet according to one J.D. Power and Associates survey, only 1 in 5 Americans are even interested in this technology, much less ready to invest in it. Needless to say, you haven't missed your window of opportunity. 

Think about how many amazing technologies you've watched soar to new heights while you kick yourself thinking, "I knew about that technology before everyone was talking about it, but I just sat on my hands." 

Don't let that happen again. This time, it should be your family telling you, "I can't believe you knew about and invested in that technology so early on."

That's why I hope you take just a few minutes to access the exclusive research our team of analysts has put together on this industry and the one stock positioned to capitalize on this major shift.

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David Hanson owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway and American Express. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway, Google, and Coca-Cola.We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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