Review: Protect Your Privacy from Alexa with Smartē Mute+

One of my favorite things to look for at the Consumer Electronics Show are items that may not actually be electronic, but help make our use of electronic items better. In this case, the Smartē Mute+ ($24.99) from My Smartē Life does indeed have electronics, but it's designed to give you privacy from the now ubiquitous Amazon Echo Dot and other Echo devices. It's like a cone of silence. You just slip it on top of your Echo device. It fits all versions of Amazon Echo, Echo Plus, and Echo Dot. You turn it on and it creates its own white noise that effectively mutes the microphones. It works like noise-canceling headphones. It's not just a plastic cap!

Related: Review: Smart Alarm Clock Includes Alexa, Supports Spotify

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I have an Echo in the bedroom, so I can see how that might be a cause for concern. Or what if you have an Echo in the corporate boardroom? Sure, you could just unplug a smart speaker, but then you have to remember to plug it back in when you need it, and it doesn't start up instantly. If you just want to discuss something private, temporarily, the Mute+ can be activated with a timer, in increments of up to one hour, and of course you can just physically remove it from the top of the Echo.

Mute

The Mute+ makes sure you can always view the Echo speaker light, so you know if it's listening. It uses three AAA batteries, but there is a low-light indicator so you shouldn't be caught off guard by dead batteries.

Pros

  • Interesting concept
  • Engineered to block microphone, not just cover it up
  • Timer option
  • Works with all versions of Amazon Echo, Echo Plus, and Echo Dot
  • Can view Echo speaker light
  • Sold in white or black

Cons

  • Battery operated (but low-light indicator)
  • Could just unplug speaker

Final Verdict

The Smartē Mute+ from My Smartē Life may be ushering in a new generation of products designed to protect us from our own smart products!

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Todd Bernhard's picture

Todd Bernhard is a bestselling (6+ million downloads) award-winning (AARP, About.com, BestAppEver.com, Digital Hollywood, and Verizon) developer and founder of NoTie.NET, an app developer specializing in Talking Ringtone apps including AutoRingtone. And his profile photo is of the last known sighting of Mr. Bernhard wearing a tie, circa 2007!

An iPhone is almost always attached to his hip or in his pocket, but over the years, Mr. Bernhard has owned an Apple Newton, a Motorola Marco, an HP 95LX, a Compaq iPaq, a Palm Treo, and a Nokia e62. In addition to writing for iPhone Life, Mr. Bernhard has written for its sister publications, PocketPC Magazine and The HP Palmtop Paper.