There are legitimate concerns around smart speakers and privacy, as these devices always seem to be listening but MSCHF's Alexagate was developed to support Amazon Echo users by offering them an easier way to turn off the mics. Kevin Wiesner, MSCHF’s creative director, describes Alexagate as an "aftermarket privacy adjustment" that helps consumers retrofit the popular smart speaker.
MSCHF is only selling a limited batch of the smart speaker accessories, which use seven ultrasonic speakers to jam Alexa's mic. Now, by clapping three times, Amazon Echo users can indicate whether they'd like to turn the mic on or off, as the smart speaker is always listening for the word "Alexa" so that it can provide assistance for a range of tasks.
Image Credit: MSCHF