iRobot has said revenue from Looj and ConnectR will not materially impact its fiscal 2007 results. But it hopes the devices will give the company a chance to get feedback from its consumers and test the waters for newer product categories.
Even if the two new products don't succeed, they send a message that iRobot is willing to take its consumer robots line beyond the idea of cleaning and expand its market, according to Morgan Stanley analyst Heidi Wood.
"The company has a vision of the iRobot home, a place featuring robots that assist not only in household chores, but also in facilitating communications and interpersonal connectivity," wrote Wood in a recent research note. Morgan Stanley has an investment banking relationship with iRobot.
It's a lofty vision for the company, but if Looj and ConnectR fail to take off, it could become an expensive mistake amid a struggle to establish mass-market potential.