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Mycroft Mark II: The Open Voice Assistant

Looking for a voice enabled smart speaker, but hesitant to put a listening device in your home?
Mycroft provides the privacy minded, transparent alternative.
The open source alternative to Alexa and Google Home launched this week on Kickstarter. Hitting the funding goal in a short 6.5 hours, the project is already over 300% funded with 19 days left to continue raising funds.

The Mark II is a consumer ready smart speaker with a built0in screen, microphone array with noise cancellation and beamforming, and more features as the company hits more funding milestones. The voice assistant is powered by the broader full-feature voice platform, the Mycroft Assistant.

How is Mycroft different from the current voice assistants on the market?

The open platform differs in four different ways from competitors like Alexa and Siri; data privacy, customization, user agency, and open data.

•    Privacy: user queries and recordings are deleted as they come in.

•    Customization: users are able to change the wake-word, voice, and even user interface.

•   User agency: Mycroft represents its users, not the broader goals and strategies of the company behind the voice assistant.

•   Open data: Mycroft is using data from users that have chosen to opt-in to publish their data to an open data set. This data set fuels machine-learning efforts to improve wake-word spotting, speech to text transcription, natural language understanding and speech synthesis.

These differences position Mycroft as a game changer for consumers, as well as the only option on the market for companies who want to deploy voice but aren’t willing to send their data to their competitors.

The company has worked with Jaguar Land Rover to voice enable a F-type sports vehicle, and is working with large companies to help them deploy voice strategies.

The Mark II is completely open; hardware, software, and data. You can find the company and device on Kickstarter until February 24th.
By: Alyx Horace
February 05, 2018