Mycroft Mark II is the open smart home voice assistant without the eavesdropping and privacy concerns of Google Home and Amazon Echo
Do you use Google Home, Amazon Echo or other smart home devices from the Big Tech Giants? Do you know if your conversations are being captured for targeted ads? Or do you have any concerns about your personal privacy and surveillance? If your answer is ‘Yes’ to any of these questions, you may want to consider an alternative open smart home voice assistant called Mycroft Mark II. This new smart device is the open answer to Amazon Echo and Google Home. Mycroft brings you the power of voice while maintaining privacy and data independence. It’s an open virtual assistant for everyone without the concern for surveillance from the the big brothers like Google and Amazon.
Open Assistant for everyone
We cannot leave the power of AI and voice technology to just the Silicon Valley giants. They are too important to our collective future to remain their property. Mark II lets you interact with technology and your connected devices in the most natural way – by speaking to them. Mark II is a hands-free smart speaker to get answers, play music, and handle all the little details in life, all by voice. What sets Mark II apart? It’s open source. This means your personal data stays private, you can customize your experience, and Mycroft is a neutral player in the voice game, allowing you to be confident in your personal preference of apps and skills. More than this, the Mycroft platform is created by a community of innovators, keeping the technology honest and well-rounded. With seven more days to go, the startup has raised $284,538. That is more than $50,000 initial goal.
The Mark II by Mycroft is the device challenging them. Driven by community development, it’s the only voice assistant that respects your privacy, is entirely transparent in how your data is processed, and is customizable. It’s the voice assistant for the people by the people, doing all the things you’ve come to expect from a voice assistant, but in a transparent and open way. Its open software gives the users certainty that their private spaces stay private. Unlike voice assistants from Big Tech, Mycroft doesn’t mine your data, sell you products, or try to own your online life.
What sets Mark II apart? It’s open source. This means your personal data stays private, you can customize your experience, and Mycroft is a neutral player in the voice game, allowing you to be confident in your personal preference of apps and skills. More than this, the Mycroft platform is created by a community of innovators, keeping the technology honest and well-rounded.
Our open software gives you certainty that your private spaces stay private. Unlike voice assistants from Big Tech, Mycroft doesn’t mine your data, sell you products, or try to own your online life.
The Mark II Smart Speaker
The Mycroft Mark II is the next generation open smart speaker. It sounds better, hears better, and incorporates all of the lessons learned from the Mark I.
The Mark I was very much a device for makers and open source developers. The Mark II is a consumer-ready speaker designed for you and your family, whatever your level of technical expertise. But at the same time, it is open hardware and software for you developers, makers and hackers.
It has state of the art features like array microphones, beamforming, active noise cancellation, and a bright screen to display important information. It also sounds great, filling your room with vivid highs and deep lows. With a new design, high quality screen, multi-microphone array, and high quality stereo speakers, the Mark II enhances any space. Expect an FCC and CE certified Mark II, a multi-country power adapter, and a quick start guide when the Mark II arrives. Mark II features a sleek, friendly design that can be placed anywhere in your home. Showcase it or let it blend into its environment, it’s your choice. Mark II was built from all the feedback and community contributions since the launch of Mark I. With an increasingly smart stack behind it, the hardware got a massive overhaul.
The Mark II will be able to hear you even when you’re across the room, or your music is turned all the way up. When you need perfection, you partner with the best; based in Silicon Valley, Aaware, is a leader in designing microphone arrays that eliminate interfering noise and preserve speech with little to no distortion.
The microphone system consists of an array of 6 individual microphones that when combined with Acoustic Echo Cancellation, Noise Reduction and Beamforming are able to isolate the speaker even in a noisy environment. Beamforming takes the input from the 6 microphones and locates the direction from which the user is speaking, giving it superior listening ability.
- Xilinx quad-core processor
- Far-field 6-microphone array
- Hardware AEC, beamforming and noise reduction
- Stereo sound with dual 2″ drivers (10W)
- 4″ IPS LCD touchscreen
- USB Type A
- MicroSD card slot
- Bluetooth in
- 3.5mm audio out
- 18W power supply with international adapters
FCC and CE certification: The Mark II will be FCC and CE certified; meaning it’s safe for consumers and won’t run into issues in customs.
Power adapter country compatibility: Using Mark II outside the US? The power adapter is international, working for the US, EU, UK, as well as AU.
Languages: What language does Mycroft speak? Right now it’s English. But our community has been steadily working on Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, French, and German.
Shipping Details: Shipping price is calculated when you select the reward. We’ve contracted with EasyPost to ensure that shipping is streamlined. From accurate calculations, door to door tracking across the globe, and their customs pre-approval process, your Mark II will arrive without a hitch. Just a reminder, some foreign countries require duties and taxes that can’t be pre-paid. They are passing that directly to you!
AI for Everyone
The Mycroft community is using machine and deep learning to build an assistant that improves over time and learns how to better serve you. We’re incorporating ML into every step of the user interaction from wake word processing to speech synthesis. And it’s all being open sourced.
The data being used is generated by Mycroft users who have explicitly opted in to share their data to our open data set. Unless users explicitly opt-in, we delete data as soon as the interaction is completed. We are using machine learning in many different ways:
Wake Word Spotting: The Precise library listens to the environment and ignores everything but the wake word. Our default wake word is “Hey Mycroft”, but users can customize it to fit their needs. “Hey Pedro”, “Victoria”, and “Jarvis” are all popular community wake words.
Speech-to-Text: For users who opt-in, we capture commands and make them available to improve the DeepSpeech STT software. We will move to DeepSpeech as our primary STT engine on March 31, 2018.
Intents and Skills: Our Adapt and Padatious libraries use both known entity rules and machine learning to determine what the user wants to do.
Text-to-Speech: Our TTS synthesizer, Mimic, uses parametrics to synthesize voice. We are replacing it in the next couple of months with Mimic II, which uses machine learning and sounds significantly more human-like than other open source libraries.
You can reserve a Mycroft Mark II for a pledge of $129.00. The initial shipping date is estimated December, 2018. You can also learn more about Mycroft Mark II by visiting their Kickstarter campaign page