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Pozio Cradle stops smartphones from listening – Source

The Pozio Cradle is a phone-charging accessory with an unusual feature: It has the ability to defeat your smartphone’s microphone.

People don’t normally buy new gadgets to block functions in their old gadgets, but the capabilities of smartphones—including personal-assistant services that might be listening silently—don’t make them normal devices.

Hence the theoretical market for this $119 device from a Vancouver startup, which I first inspected in person at CES and have since been testing at home.

How can one gizmo prevent another’s microphone from hearing you? This vertical black frame with rounded corners employs what a FAQ for Pozio’s unsuccessful Kickstarter campaign calls “shaped, sub-audible sound.” The even more vague FAQ on Pozio’s site says this involves “patented digital signal processing”—to stop a phone in the cradle from hearing any audio.

[Photo: Rob Pegoraro]

That may sound like high-tech puffery. But when I tried a company-loaned Pozio Cradle…

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