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Paranoid Inc. Introduces Paranoid Home: An Add-on Device That Stops Your Smart Speaker From Constantly Eavesdropping


It’s great being able to get tomorrow’s weather forecast, to set a laundry timer, or to discover a new recipe—simply by asking aloud. But, in exchange for that convenience, tech companies expect us to sacrifice our privacy. They expect us to invite always-on microphones into our living rooms, our kitchens, and even our bedrooms. They store our recordings indefinitely, hire human subcontractors to listen in, and sell our data to third parties. That’s a deal that some are not willing to take. Some demand control over when they’re listening and what they hear.

That’s when Paranoid comes in.

At the heart of Paranoid is a small circuit board that blocks all audio input to a smart speaker, and allows it only after hearing the wake word: “Paranoid”. The circuit board is entirely self-contained, with no WiFi or Bluetooth connection to the internet (and, therefore, no access to potential hackers). When its on-board processor hears the wake word, Paranoid temporarily enables the smart speaker’s microphone— allowing it to function normally.

Although most current smart speakers include mute buttons, these effectively disable their main feature: hands-free convenience. As a result, most users completely ignore the mute switch. Instead, they leave their smart speakers constantly on—and constantly listening. Paranoid offers a convenient alternative.

Paranoid will be available in three separate configurations, each meeting differing needs and designed to suit different smart speaker models.


Initially they are supporting several models of Amazon Echo and Google Home. Specific models will be available to fit different speakers. The device does not connect to the cloud, WiFi, Bluetooth or the internet. The user does not input any WiFi credentials. In fact, it lacks an antenna and other components that would enable wireless connectivity. It uses only on-board processing to detect the keyword. It cannot be remotely accessed by potential hackers, and will not transmit any data to the cloud. The initial model will be available for $49 USD. A pack of 3 will be $129 USD. There will be a special introductory offer for a select number of initial customers. Paranoid will initially be sold only in the U.S. and Canada, with international sales expected later in 2020.

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