05.06.20

ProKNX enters market with offline smart home assistant

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ProKNX, a start-up based in the South of France, has entered the market with a fully offline voice control system for smart homes that performs all the actions of other home automation assistants without compromising the homeowner’s privacy.

PRATGLAD, which translates to ‘chatty’ in Swedish, was developed due to consumer’s concerns about intrusions into their privacy from smart home devices. 

“We see this as an unacceptable compromise,” stated Jens Kastensson, CTO of ProKNX. “The constant recording of utterances and the nonstop transference of data to the cloud is a serious breach of privacy for the user, and a needless waste of energy. 

“Along with Christian Kiefel, our CEO, we decided that there needed to be a workable solution to support a user’s right to enjoy the comfort of smart home technology without having to deal with the negative aspects of owning a home automation device. It was from this pressing concern that PRATGLAD was conceived.”

The device is the first voice controlled smart home assistant that uses machine learning and ‘Natural Language Understanding’ to understand and respond to a variety of commands said in thousands of different ways, allowing it to work completely offline in order to protect its user’s privacy. 

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Compatible with IKEA’s Trådfri products, homeowners can control their Trådfri smart lights and blinds through voice command with the PRATGLAD instead of using a remote control or app. 

PRATGLAD is an easy to set up, affordable, plug-and-play device that is individually customisable by the buyer, allowing them the freedom to purchase and install the product by themselves. However, professional installation is also an option.

Kastensson added: “The device can also be a great income source for professional installers, as the cost of the product is low and the installation process is short, meaning the margins installers could make for offering a flat fee install could be very lucrative for the installer. On top of that, there are many opportunities for up-sales from satellite devices, to custom scenes, to yearly maintenance service offers.”

PRATGLAD for Trådfri will launch at the end of June, initially for the European market. It will be programmed to understand English, but French or German languages can be added on request. ProKNX plans to increase the number of language options available at a later date.