I, for one, welcome our unspeaking, all-powerful kitty overlords.
Japan's relentless drive to merge terminal cuteness with ultimate technology has taken a turn for the worse. It seems that Sanrio, parent company of the ubiquitous Hello Kitty brand, is determined to leave no stone unturned when it comes to marketing their all-conquering brand. How else to explain the newest appearance of the mouthless wonder: on the Roomba robot vacuum.
Roomba, a product of the cool-sounding iRobot company, is a self-contained robotic vacuum that patrols your home or apartment in search of dust and dirt. Like all roombas, the vacuum cleaner employs sensors to help it avoid stairs and, basically, is one of the only Jetson-ish home appliances to ever successfully cross the line from cartoons to reality.
However, the curious Japanese propensity to cutify, well, everything meant that sooner or later the Roomba would get a makeover. In this case it's sooner - September 30 is when the Hello Kitty Roomba hits Japan's department stores and online retailers. Better have your Hello Kitty credit card handy though (yes, it exists), at 84,500 yen - about $800 - the Hello Kitty Roomba is anything but cheap and as a home appliance it's anything but a child's toy. This begs the question, why dress it up in Hello Kitty kitsch? For the answer, refer back to paragraph 1. (via Impress Watch)