Dio: A Home Audio System That’s Private AND Smart

“Smart home” and “smart speakers” have become big buzzwords nowadays, but what do they really mean? They’ve become synonymous with voice assistants and 5G-internet. However, when it comes to setting up a home audio system that you can control at your fingertips, you really don’t need either. In fact, I’ll posit that having a microphone-free, completely network secure audio system is the smartest of all. So at Dio, we made privacy and security our focus by making speakers that require neither voice assistants nor the internet. How did we work this magic? Read on to find out!

How Smart Speakers Typically Work
When you get that free Google or Alexa speaker, it’s important to understand what is actually inside them and the implications of how they work before you set them up. Unlike Bluetooth or wired speakers, smart speakers are not built to stream audio from your phone or computer. Instead, they independently connect to the internet and stream audio directly from audio servers. What do I mean by that? Well, a typical Bluetooth speaker can’t connect to the internet. Instead, it relies on your phone connecting to the internet first, getting audio from, say, Spotify’s servers, and then broadcasts that audio over to your speaker using local, short-distance radio waves. Smart speakers, on the other hand, never receive any broadcast from your phone. Instead, when you use the Google Home or Alexa phone app to play audio on your speaker, your phone simply sends a command over the internet to a Google or Amazon server, to then send a command to your speaker, which then asks your speaker to request Spotify to send it a song. Kind of complicated, right?

While there are reasons for this kind of process, the real complication you should know about is that your smart speakers need to constantly and independently be connected to the internet. By doing so, they create another external access point into your home, which makes your home more vulnerable to cybersecurity threats. How you ever heard how Mark Zuckerberg and other tech CEOs place a sticker to cover their webcams when they’re not using it. Any device connected to the internet poses a security risk to your home.

How Dio Works
So if any internet-connected device poses a security risk to your home, how can a device protect your home’s security and privacy? Well, the short answer is: don’t connect to the internet! And that’s what we had in mind as we built Dio. Unlike other smart speakers, Dio Node does not require a connection to the internet to function. Instead, we use local Wi-Fi waves (WLAN) to send audio directly from your phone to your speakers. Why Wi-Fi? Well, it’s much more stable for whole home audio control and sound quality, unlike Bluetooth. The important thing to note, however, is that your Wi-Fi could have no internet connectivity, and yet your Dio Nodes would still work. No Siri or Alexa to tell you they’re having trouble connecting to the internet in this scenario – it’s just simple as playing your phone’s audio out loud on your speakers.

With that in mind, we ended up building the most network-secure speaker on the market. And with no added microphones, Dio Node becomes the most privacy-forward “smart” speaker on the market as well!

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