A device shown at CES 2022 that made some publications’ “weirdest stuff from the show” lists is the Pozio Cradle. It’s a “listening blocker” that wirelessly charges smartphones. It ensures your gadget and its voice assistant can’t hear or record what you say, according to the company.
A press release for a Pozio Kickstarter campaign went out in November 2021. The company said at CES in early January you can now place regular orders on its website and products will ship in March.
Pozio Cradle: spy craft against your own phone?
As Pozio noted, smartphones listen, record, store and sometimes share users’ personal information. And it’s not just the onboard smart assistants, like Siri or Alexa. Mobile apps can represent an exposure point, as well.
Of course, with iPhones and other devices you can control what the microphone does regarding a voice assistant and various apps in Settings, but you may not want to make those adjustments frequently.
“Our smartphones are with us 24/7. If smartphones were a person, that person would hear our most sensitive conversations and know everything there is to know about us, including our finances, mental and physical health, relationship status and more. Should that sensitive information get into the wrong hands it could be problematic to say the least,” said Dave Nickel, CEO of Pozio. “We are offering the world’s first wireless phone charger that blocks our smartphones from listening to us until we want them to.”
The company said Pozio products allow people to use smart devices but ensure activities are not always monitored. It added Pozio devices are secure and simple to set up, do not require an internet connection and never record or store user data.
Patented ‘Listening Blocker Technology’
Pozio said it uses “patented technology that works in the background to prevent the always-listening microphones in smart devices from hearing private conversations.”
Simply place Qi-enabled smartphone in Pozio Cradle to charge it. At the same time, the cradle immediately starts protecting your privacy. It does so by emitting an inaudible tone that blocks the device’s microphone from “hearing” anything else, the company said.
When you want to interact with your smart device, simply say, “Pozio Stop.” That turns off the sound blocking for 30 seconds, allowing you to talk to your smart assistant.
The device never records your voice, Pozio said. It has no hard drive or internet connection, so it doesn’t store or share any personal information.
Pozio Cradle joins the company’s line of smart device privacy items. They include the Pozio Shield for smart speakers. The Cradle – Block costs $109. Cradle – Block & Talk, which adds voice-controlled deactivation of the listening blocker, costs $119.
Price: $109, or $119 with voice control
Where to preorder: Pozio