20.10.2016 Privately is soft launching its chatbot Oyoty empowering children to be safer online. The startup is working in the UK in partnership with child protection charity Internet Matters. Bulgaria and the Lausanne Police will also start testing the chatbot in the next weeks. The startup plans to launch its commercial product globally at the end of the trials in January 2017.
In a recent Techcrunch interview, Privately founder and CEO Deepak Tewari announced that its company is soft launching Oyoty in the UK. The startup based at EPFL Innovation Park recently acquired its first retail client in the UK and concluded a partnership with one of the largest child protection charities, Internet Matters.
Online child safety solutions have long been synonymous with parental control, monitoring and restrictions. Apart from leaving children out of the learning process and promoting ‘underground’ behaviors such solutions are largely ineffective and even counter-productive as per the latest research from the London School of Economics.
With its solution, Privately takes a novel approach in online child safety. “Oyoty is the first of its kind personal safety assistant for children using the combination of deep learning and chatbot technology that both empowers and educates children to be safe,” says Tewari in the interview to Techcrunch. Available for the trials in French and English, Oyoty exists as an app for iOS and Android that’s downloaded onto a child’s device and linked to their social accounts at set up (via Oauth). It works for Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
In order for the children to use the app, parents must first give their permission by creating an account. During the trial, Oyoty will be free to use. For the commercial launch next year, the startup aims to offer it as a subscription service priced at around £5 per month per family (for up to three kids).
The Oyoty chatbot was developed by Privately, a startup spun out of Kudelski in 2014. In Switzerland, the company has been rewarded a research grant from the Swiss Federation (CTI funding) and an acceleration grant from the Economic Promotion Council of the Canton de Vaud (SpECO). Bulgaria as well as the Lausanne Police will start testing Oyoty in the next weeks. At the end of the trials in January 2017, the startup plans to launch its commercial product globally.