The Canada-based company hopes to raise $25,000 (CAD) in 28 days.
The Pozio Kickstarter campaign is now officially live, continuing the company's mission to help users reclaim their privacy without sacrificing the convenience provided by smart speakers and smartphones.
Pozio's plan is to crowdfund the production of its Cradle and Shield products, which prevent smart devices from eavesdropping, as well as support the development of all-new privacy solutions.
Currently, Pozio's suite of secure products includes two handy gadgets. The Pozio Shield ($189–$199 CAD) works with most smart speakers, including the Google Home Mini, and 2nd and 3rd generation Echo Dots. The Shield comes in two sizes, and employs voice-controlled blocking technology. The Pozio Cradle ($199–$279 CAD) is another secure solution, and doubles as a wireless phone charger and speaker.
Simple and effective
The Pozio Shield and Cradle prevent smart devices from listening when you don't want them to – or when they shouldn't be. Proprietary Listening Blockers and subsonic frequencies stop any unwanted eavesdropping, so your private conversations stay well and truly private.
Both Pozio devices are elegant in design and deceptively simple – and they do one job. Furthermore, the devices don't come with a hard drive where your data could be squirreled away, there's no need to sync an app with either product, and they're not connected to the internet or integrated with your smart speakers or phone.
This lack of connectivity might seem like a downside in a world where we're used to all our gadgets communicating with one another, but it also means that the Pozio devices are much less susceptible to hacking.
Control the conversation
The Pozio Shield and Cradle both use embedded wake word recognition, so users can simply say "Pozio stop" when they're ready to communicate with their smart speaker. Doing so turns off the sound blocking technology and gives users 30 seconds to summon and speak with their smart device, just as they normally would.
If 30 seconds isn't enough time, users also have the option of manually toggling the blocking technology on or off via a button on the top of the Pozio devices.
We're here to provide smart speakers and smartphone owners peace of mind by giving them control of when these devices can and can't hear them, without impacting the convenience of a voice-only experience,
Always on, always listening
Pozio's suite of products allows users to determine for themselves just how often their smart speakers listen to them – and all without erasing the benefits and conveniences provided by the gadgets. This is a particularly important distinction for those with disabilities, who may use smart devices to live more independent lives.
Unfortunately, smart speakers and smartphones are no strangers to privacy concerns and scandals.
A smart device is always listening, and as a result, privacy advocates have consistently expressed concern about whether these obsequious devices are desensitizing use to domestic surveillance. After all, 60 million Americans owned at least one speaker by the end of 2019.
Prospective users are also often wary of the fact that Amazon and Google are two of the world's leading smart speaker brands – and two of the world's most data-hungry companies. These tech titans could feasibly gather huge swathes of data without a user's explicit knowledge.
However, even if you're well aware of when your smart device is recording you and for how long, you may not always get a say in how that data is eventually used. Amazon's Ring video doorbell perfectly illustrated this practice in 2019, when it was revealed that Ring had allowed the police force to comb through user footage.
Smart speakers can also be prone to errors that quickly become privacy nightmares. In 2020, for example, one such error caused Google Home devices to record its users all the time, without first being prompted to do so. Google has since fixed this error, but it certainly acts as a worrying precedent for how a simple software bug could turn your smart speaker against you.
The countdown begins
Pozio hopes to reach a goal of $25,000 (CAD) in 28 days, and keen supporters have the option of simply donating to the cause to chip away at its target, or pre-ordering one (or both) of the Pozio products.
For a more in-depth look at the Pozio Shield, including a comprehensive rundown of its features and utility, head on over to our review!