These antique Alexaphones will not spy on your conversations

I have never felt the need to own an Amazon Echo device, partly because I have the feeling that I can google things faster than a voice assistant can understand, but mostly because of that one time a bunch of Alexa devices creepy to laugh at their owners, unsolicited. But then I saw these antique telephones adjusted with Alexa functionality, which only listen to you when the receiver's horn is turned off, and it was absolutely right. It is no longer a hands-free voice assistant, but all of these privacy violations have taught us that when the future feels too overwhelming, it is best to go back a couple of decades with a few decades.

Christine Sunu and Dick Whitney of Grain Design have made three different models: the Regent, a Belgian model from the fifties; de Avignon, a solid copper telephone in art-deco style from the 1920s; and the Metropolis, a handsome candlestick rotary telephone with a black Bakelite mouthpiece. First seen through Boing Boing, the telephones are equipped with a USB power cable and come with an aux audio port of one eighth of an inch, so you can connect the audio to an external speaker. The important thing is that the microphones are physically disconnected when you put the receiver back on, so you do not have to worry about accidentally turning Alexa on, or the Echo device that calls your calls to random people in your contacts list. mail.

The Metropolis.
Photo: grain design

The regent.
Photo: grain design

The Alexaphones can each be purchased for $ 1,500. Currently all three models are sold out, but you can reserve them for $ 200 on the Grain Design website. If I had the money, I would jump on this invention, if only to feel like an old Victorian woman with a constant need to know what the weather is like.

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