Data privacy is the sure-fire way to stand out when it comes to AI assistants in the home. We've seen the launch of bold plans from Mozilla, Home Assistant and others and now French startup Snips is joining the side of private personal data.
Due to ship in late 2019, Snips AIR will be a range of devices including a smart speaker called AIR Base - that runs on Linux and has a far-field mic array - and a tactile, battery powered, portable microphone named AIR Satellite. It also says anyone can build a product running Snips AIR.
Built-in apps will include date and time, calendar, reminders, weather, media controls, cooking, news/sports/finance, jokes(!) and home automation. The Snips Skills Store will even use anonymous, decentralised transactions using Snips AIR tokens - very of the moment.
But the big deal here for privacy nuts is that the blockchain-based AI assistant process and store all your personal/voice data locally, not in the cloud, communicating with each other via the AIRnet protocol (which is open to other manufacturers too).
‚ÄúExisting voice assistants represent everything that is wrong with the Internet today: centralization of personal data, deprivation of privacy, and exploitation of users and developers. Snips AIR will offer a real alternative to families who care about protecting their privacy,‚ÄĚ said Rand Hindi, Snips co-founder and CEO.
So who is behind it? Snips is a 60 person startup based in Paris and New York; it's raised ‚ā¨22 million so far in investment and it's about to launch an ICO - an initial coin offering. We guess everything else depends on that but there's also a Kickstarter campaign ahead in its 2019 timeline.