ProKNX Launches Pratglad, an Offline Voice-Controlled Smart Home Assistant

ProKNX, a start-up based in France, has launched Pratglad, a voice-controlled home automation product. Pratglad is a plug-and-play device that will allow users of IKEA's Trådfri products to control all of their smart lights and blinds by voice.

Pratglad, which means chatty in Swedish, is the first voice controlled smart home assistant that uses machine learning and natural language understanding to process and respond to a variety of commands. All of its actions are performed offline to protect the user's privacy.

Jens Kastensson, chief technology officer of ProKNX, stated that the initial idea for Pratglad arose because of serious concerns about intrusions into the privacy of smart home device users.

"We see this as an unacceptable compromise," he said in a statement. "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 initially will understand English, with German or French language options available on request.

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