Here’s a Scary Story: Speakers with Microphones…👻🧟😱

Tl;dr of today's post:
  • Lots of Halloween puns
  • What makes Dio the most privacy-forward multi-room speaker out there
  • What we’re jamming: binge of the week

What's New with Dio This Week

This isn't a trick: still no production samples 🙁

I was looking forward to showing off some BOOtiful speakers this week, but looks like we’ll have to wait another FORTNIGHT. The good news is that this pain in the neck isn’t caused by vampires! More good news? We’ve delayed the samples because we found opportunities to make our sound quality even better. My next touchpoint is coming up at the end of this week, so hopefully we’ll get some good news on shipped samples this week.

$1 reservations, a howling good deal!

I opened up $1 reservations on the website a few weeks ago, but did you know that reservation will give you the best discount I can offer on Dio once our Kickstarter launches? I’m still keeping the specifics of the discount a spooky surprise for now, but rest assured that it’ll make you cackle with joy! And for those of you wondering – no, you will not have to place multiple $1 reservations for multiple speakers! Each reservation will give you a code for your choice of a 3-pack or 1-pack speaker (emailed to you closer to the launch date).

Dio Deep Dive: Dio and Privacy

With Halloween right around the corner, I thought I’d focus this week’s deep dive on the spookiest topic of all: privacy!

One of the first and most obvious things to highlight about Dio is that our speakers do not have any microphones or voice assistants. While voice assistants might seem convenient (except when they randomly start talking in the middle of a work meeting, or mishear your song selection, or won’t wake no matter how much you shout “HEY SIRI”…okay so maybe they’re not that convenient), it’s no secret that tech companies record your conversations with your voice assistant unless you opt-out. And the fact is, it makes complete sense to want a speaker in every room, but it makes no sense to force you to also have a microphone in every room. So I decided to do something different with Dio and make a speaker that’s (*shocker*) just a speaker…with no additional bells and whistles forced into your home!

With privacy at the core, though, I wanted to take Dio a step further and make sure it also wasn’t something others could use or access from outside your home regardless of its microphone-less status. While many people are reasonably skeptical of microphone-based speakers in their homes, what they don’t realize is the real threat comes from the fact that these devices are connected to the internet. In last week’s Deep Dive, I described how Google Cast- and Amazon Alexa-enabled speakers require the internet in order to function. And as one IT professional once told me, “I did some crazy stuff when I was a kid…you don’t know how easy it is to hack people’s webcams.” It’s also why 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.

I recently heard the saying, “when you’re inventing gunpowder, don’t just think about the fireworks you can make, but also the cannons, bombs, and rifles that others can make with it”. While it’s easy for Google, Amazon, and other tech giants to show customers how they don’t stray from the intended use of their devices & voice assistants, it’s impossible for them to guarantee that others won’t hack into these devices and use them improperly. That’s why I decided to make multi-room speakers that not only don’t have the physical hardware to record you, but also don’t require a connection to the internet at all.

The challenge with Dio, however, was figuring out how to balance this level of complete privacy while also making it the most convenient speaker for your home. That included being able to use an unlimited number of speakers, playing audio from any app on your phone, and allowing any number of people in your home to use your speakers. The solution to this was WLAN – something I discussed in great detail in last week’s Deep Dive. This was another reason why I chose to work with Apple AirPlay instead of Google Cast or Alexa, and I’m proud to say we have now created the most versatile and yet most private & secure multi-room speaker on the market! With Dio, you can truly put a speaker in every corner of your home without ever worrying it will do more in your life than just being a speaker.

What We're Jamming This Week

I know you WITCH this blog wouldn’t end so soon, so here’s a podcast you can start listening to while you’re waiting for us to BREW up our SPOOKers.

Binge of the week: Serial

While I haven’t been listening to this one myself, Serial has been highly recommended to me as the true crime podcast of choice. If murder mysteries are your cup of tea, then this just may be the right podcast to get you in (and out) of the halloween spirit!

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