ProKNX has announced the launch of its fully offline voice controlled smart home assistant, PRATGLAD.

PRATGLAD by ProKNX is described as a world-first offline voice control system for smart homes that performs all the actions of more familiar home automation assistants without compromising the consumer’s privacy.

In a similar vein to this product also announced recently by Atmos Home, ProKNX is looking to exploit the concerns that have been raised around ‘always on’ listening devices and the issues around privacy and security.

ProKNX, is an award-winning start-up based in the South of France, and Jens Kastensson, CTO of ProKNX stated that the initial idea for the development of PRATGLAD arose because of serious concerns about intrusions into the privacy of smart home device users. 

“We see this as an unacceptable compromise. 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.”

PRATGLAD, which means ‘chatty’ in Swedish, is billed by the company as 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. This allows it to work offline to protect the privacy of its users. 

PRATGLAD has been designed to be an easily set up, inexpensive plug-and-play device that fans of IKEA’s Trådfri products will be able to use to control all their smart lights and blinds by voice alone with no need for a remote control, app, or tablet. The company says the cost of the device puts it well within the reach of the average consumer.

But what about the pro install market? The company argues that because of the ease and cost-effectiveness of offering a holistic installation of a PRATGLAD system with Tradfri products is an extremely interesting business prospect.

PRATGLAD for Trådfri is available now initially online equipped to understand English, with German or French on request.

Jens Kastensson, the company’s CTO told EI that PRATGLAD could be a great income source for professional installers, as the cost of the products is low and the installation process is short, so the margins they could make for offering a flat fee install could be very lucrative. On top of that, says Jens, there are many opportunities for up-sales from satellite devices, to custom scenes, to yearly maintenance service offers and so forth.

ProKNX has more than 10 years of experience in developing smart home devices for the KNX Home Automation sector working in collaboration with Jung and Sonos to produce devices for the home and office. The internationally diverse ProKNX team is located in the technology-centric area of Sophia Antipolis in the South of France. Its flagship product, Aragon, has recently been listed as one of the best smart home products of the year in Germany, and won the Audience Choice Award at the Smarthome Deutschland Conference 2020.

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