Wyze releasing a $199 ‘Robot Vacuum’ to clean up on competitors in the evolving smart home


The Wyze Robot Vacuum. (Wyze Photo)

Wyze Labs’ vision of a smarter home, full of its cameras and other products, is also going to be a cleaner place. The Seattle-based company announced a new Wyze Robot Vacuum on Tuesday, available for pre-order now at $199.

The price undercuts other autonomous cleaning devices on the market while still offering many of the premium tech features, such as LIDAR precision location mapping, virtual walls, scheduled sweeps and more.

Wyze co-founder and CEO Yun Zhang said in a news release that deciding to produce a smart vacuum involved determining what Wyze could do better than the existing market.

“Customer feedback revealed that a robot vacuum without LIDAR just didn’t cut it in the home,” Zhang said. “Customers were either forced to pay exorbitant prices for vacuums with satisfactory features or face the alternative of purchasing modestly priced vacuums that just barely cut it.”

The company’s vacuum fills a “sweet spot,” Zhang added, providing premium features at an entry-level price.

The Wyze Robot Vacuum and charging station. (Wyze Photo)

At just under 14 inches in width and weighing 7.2 pounds, the vacuum has a 3200 mAh lithium ion battery and can charge from zero to 100% in about 3 1/2 hours.

Using the Wyze app, users can customize the vacuum’s sweeping route by setting up specific target areas for cleaning on specific times and days of the week. Virtual walls can also be erected to keep the vacuum from entering certain areas. A record of all sweeps will show time, duration and area that has been cleaned.

The power and noise level of the vacuum can be controlled through three suction settings. And voice compatibility with Amazon’s Alexa is planned for 2021.

The Wyze Robot Vacuum is priced well below competitors, such as Roborock, which sells its S5 Max for $600. The cheaper S4 Max model, also with LIDAR, was getting a lot of comparisons to what Wyze is releasing in a discussion thread on Reddit’s r/wyzecam on Monday.

The well-known Roomba, by iRobot, sells for anywhere from $249 up to $899 depending on the model.

Screen grabs of Wyze Robot Vacuum features from the Wyze app, including a route map and sweep record. (Wyze Images)

Founded in 2017, Wyze was initially known for its WyzeCam, a low-cost home security camera. But the consumer hardware startup has since expanded into new product categories to further build out the smart home and offer such things as a Wyze thermostat, video doorbell, door lock, headphones and more.

The company closed out a $15 million funding round at the end of July, with investment from hip-hop star Jay Z’s Marcy Venture Partners. Founded by Amazon veterans Zhang, Elana Fishman, Dongsheng Song, and Dave Crosby, Wyze has raised $36 million to date.





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