The Pitfalls of the High-Tech Era: The Simplicity Required for Robot Vacuums

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The Blind Spot of High-Tech Products and the Importance of Simplicity

While recent robot vacuums are packed with convenient features, they actually have a major blind spot. It’s that they leave behind people who are not familiar with high-tech. I explored this issue through a conversation with a friend.

The Difficulty of Using Robot Vacuums

Modern robot vacuums have eliminated remote controls and assume Wi-Fi connectivity and smartphone app usage. While you can use them without installing the app, the functionality is limited to about one-third. This is a major hurdle, especially for older people.

Hypothesis Verification: Can Old Model Remote Controls Be Used?

We then tested whether remote controls from older models of the same manufacturer could be used. The conclusion was that they could be used. However, we also encountered the problem of multiple vacuums in the same room starting to move at the same time.

While the reservation function of the vacuum cleaner cannot be used, the automatic cleaning button and the forced return button worked properly. These two functions are easy for even older people to understand. Also, if you explain that the main power switch is a breaker, it will be easy to understand. There is also a way to operate the unit directly, but it is difficult for people with back pain, so remote control operation is recommended.

The Importance of Simplicity

What became clear from this conversation is that high-tech products lack simplicity. After trying various models through rentals, we found that higher-end models simply have more smartphone app features, while the main unit functions don’t change much. The more complex it becomes, the more people who can’t use it.

While there are features that allow you to create a map of your home and set no-go zones in the app, it’s easier and more effective to physically place obstacles. To counter the digital, simple methods are the most effective.


In the spread of high-tech products, simplicity is often overlooked. However, simple operability is the key to creating products that are easy for many people to use. It will be a challenge in the future to regain the simplicity that is often lost with technological advancements.

Title: The Conflict Between High-Tech and Simplicity in Robot Vacuums

Recently, I had the opportunity to think deeply about robot vacuums in a conversation with a friend. Our conversation centered on the fact that while robot vacuums are becoming increasingly high-tech, they are losing their simplicity.

First, we pointed out that while high-tech features are being added, people who can’t keep up with high-tech are being left behind. For example, current robot vacuums have eliminated remote controls and assume Wi-Fi connectivity and smartphone apps. While you can use them without using the app, their functionality is significantly limited.

On this point, we made a hypothesis and tested it. The question was, could we use the remote control from an older model of the same manufacturer?

The result was that our hypothesis was correct. Multiple vacuums in the same room started moving at once, causing confusion. This was unexpected, but it showed that remote control operation is possible if it’s from a different model of the same manufacturer.

Next, we considered the priority of functions. We came to the conclusion that it is important for the automatic cleaning button and the forced return button to work properly, even if we temporarily discard the reservation function. These buttons are easy for even elderly people to understand. We also explained that the main power switch is a breaker. While there is a way to operate the unit directly, it can be painful for people with back pain or other reasons. I myself am one of those people, so I understand how they feel. As a recommended method, we suggested hiding the vacuum cleaner under the sofa or bed and lurking like a ninja. Avoiding the eyes of others makes you look smart.

As my friend also pointed out, the fact that the unit has a switch is the biggest problem with robot vacuums. If the unit is hidden under a sofa or something, it’s difficult to operate directly. Therefore, you can move it by operating the remote control towards the unit.

By renting and researching various brands of robot vacuums, we reaffirmed the importance of the lost simplicity. The higher-end models have more smartphone app features, but there is no significant change in the unit’s functionality. Conversely, we also see a phenomenon where the more complex it becomes, the more people who can’t keep up with high-tech.

We also discussed how it can be surprisingly difficult to find apps when there are more of them. My friend said that you can use the map of your home created by the app to create no-go zones, but he didn’t find it very appealing. He also suggested that it would be quicker to create obstacles with something else, such as closing a door.

We came to the conclusion that simplicity is the most effective way to counter the digital. While high-tech features are good, if we lose simplicity, many people will be left behind.

My friend concluded by saying, “You’ve worked hard.” Our conversation allowed us to think deeply about the conflict between the high-tech and the simplicity of robot vacuums.

High-tech products are certainly convenient, but it’s important to always keep simplicity in mind and provide products that everyone can use. By regaining lost simplicity, we can open up new battlefields where we can fight without relying on large corporations.

I am happy to share the insights we gained through our conversation with you all. I hope that by considering both technological advancements and simplicity, we can move toward better product development.

Thank you for reading.


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