Alina Bradford /April 2, 2020
Smart speakers can do everything from ordering a pizza to setting your thermostat with just the sound of your voice. While these devices are incredibly helpful, they can be a security concern, especially when they listen to your conversations after hearing a trigger word. But, of course, preventing your speaker from listening to you would defeat the purpose of having a smart assistant. This creates a problem. How do you use a device that runs on voice commands without the danger of it listening to you when you don’t want it to? A new device, called Paranoid, is here to solve the problem and make using your Alexa and Google Assistant smart speakers a little safer.
Paranoid is a device that connects to your smart speaker and blocks it from listening when it shouldn’t, while still allowing it to be voice-activated. It’s very simple to use, which makes it even better. All you need to do is say “Paranoid” before each command. That means you just need to say “Paranoid” before you say “Alexa” or “Okay, Google.”
Paranoid comes in three different models so you can buy the one that works best with the type of smart speaker you have. The Home Button is a button pusher, much like the Fingerbot. It manually presses the mute button on your smart speaker and reengages it.
Of course, if your speaker doesn’t have a mute button, you’ll need another option. The Home Wave is an alternative to the Home Button. It creates noise and interference to jam a smart speaker’s microphone when it hears a trigger word that can activate the assistant when it isn’t supposed to be listening.h
If you just want your speaker more secure without adding an external gadget, then Paranoid offers Home Max. This is a service where the Paranoid company will alter the microphone on your smart speaker, add extra security so it can’t listen when it isn’t supposed to, and then send it back to you. The process takes about 10 days once the company receives your speaker.
The Home Button, Home Wave, and Home Max options are available on the Paranoid website and currently cost $39 with free shipping. Normally the devices and service cost $49.
Feature photo by Verne Ho