...I've been working out the best way to present visitors with what is currently a new/unknown option: the option to disable the host's listening technologies.
Introducing a new affordance like this requires careful physical and interaction design: it should be optimally clear what choice is being offered, and how to exercise that option should be unambiguous.
Initially, I wanted to replicate the form and placement of the traditional mezuzah. (I go more into the mezuzah as the conceptual origin of this project in another Project Log). The mezuzah is discreet but easy to find, and marks the threshold of the domestic realm; it makes sense for this to be the point at which your guests can make decisions about their privacy when entering your space.
I like hobo codes and other functional graffiti (really neat example by FFFFFAT here), and so had originally imagined a tall, thin touch-sensitive OLED that displayed symbols corresponding to the types of systems active: an ear or speech bubbles for Alexa's active transcription, a CCTV silhouette for Dropcam's video surveillance, etc.
However, it's oddly hard to find weird-aspect-ratio OLEDs, and what few I could find were going to be a pain to add touch-interaction to. (My imagined process for adding touch-sensitivity: cover each sensing region onscreen with ITO, wire each ITO to a capsense board (or use Teensy's inbuilt touch sensing), go from there).
I like the idea of having several form factors for the Mezzo system, so here are the approaches I'm thinking of at present:
Because a house doesn't often change the number of listening technologies it contains, one very simple approach is to make a small array of static buttons that have LEDs showing whether the technology is active. I picked up these clicky little pushbuttons from All Electronics, I think, and I like their handfeel and old-school looks. All they need is a simple web-enabled SoC like the Digispark Oak (of which I have many spares lying around). If I wanted to get fancy, I'd add BLE to the OpenWRT router and leverage the RFDuino's smaller form...
This was the original UI concept - either a roughly 3x1 aspect-ratio vertical rectangle, or three 128x64 rectangles in a unifying enclosure. Adding touch to these will likely be a pain, so this will likely be the last form factor I try.
Fast & Frugal
While thinking of these hardware solutions, for this hardware contest ;-), I realized I had a readily-available, hi-res, multitouch system on my desk. Android! I'm going to be prototyping with an old Android handset for the near future because it's ideal for fast iteration: I can design the UI for the standard webkit browser, I can host most of the logic on the server-side, and I can even charge this one wirelessly, so I can make a charging cradle that affixes the phone to the right place on the post.