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Meet Zoe, a New Smart Home Hub That Lets You Control Your Data

The crowdfunded device by Protonet offers data security in an increasingly crowded smart home market.


Like many in the technology world, Ali Jelveh, CEO of the Hamburg, Germany-based startup Protonet, has seen great opportunities in the smart home world, estimated to be a $15.6 billion industry in the United States alone this year. But he believes that most consumers are focusing on the ease and convenience of devices such as the Amazon Echo, and not paying enough attention to the tradeoffs, especially in terms of data security.

“These connected sensors are coming into every single inches of our lives,” he says. “Companies are saying, you’ll get some buttons and convenience, and we’ll do the rest, with the rest being extracting data and selling it. We’re just not going to get the privacy that we deserve. We’re not even part of the value chain of our own data.”

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