Updates on our corporate partnerships, Mark II progress, Crowdfunder campaign, a new hire, and Mycroft-Core 19.08!
We signed three new corporate partners this week and have started to define projects with several of the partners we signed the prior week. Partners are doing everything from voice enabling robots to developing custom augmented reality skills to building state of the art theme park experiences.
If you’re interested in partnering with Mycroft to deploy voice in your product, research effort or software, please reach out.
We’ve continued to make excellent progress on the Mark II. This week we’ve been working on the initial setup procedure.
We’ve also started evaluating hardware partners to shepard the process of getting Mycroft into mass production. We’ve been amazed by how well received our project has been and look forward to completing the selection process and making an announcement soon.
There was some confusion in our last update about our fundraising effort. Basically it broke down to “Didn’t you stop fundraising in July so you could focus on the product? Why are you all of a sudden fundraising again?”
We stopped fundraising on June 10 so we could focus the whole team on getting a quality product out the door. There were staff changes involved so we didn’t make the public announcement until mid July.
Since June 10 the team’s come together and dramatically improved the user experience. The results speak for themselves.
With the team focused on product, it is now possible for our leadership to go back to fundraising. Why? Because building voice technology is expensive.
For a technology startup in the voice space our fundraising has been modest. While companies like Google, Amazon and Apple have spent billions of dollars on their voice assistants, we’ve only spent a few million. They are spending 1,000x more than we are.
Given our financial constraints, the Mycroft team’s done a great job building out the Mycroft brand and deploying the technology all the while living up to our privacy ethos.
Creating a self-sufficient ecosystem in the context of aggressive competition from three of the largest most innovative companies on earth is difficult and takes significant capital. We’re raising because we’re building a relevant, capable and sustainable company to provide a private alternative to Alexa, Assistant and Siri.
We’ve had strong interest from existing Mycroft investors in participating in our bridge round. This week we’ve been signing paperwork and getting the first closings completed.
If you believe that voice is critical to the future of technology and that an open and private stack can succeed side by side with technologies from surveillance capitalists, you’re a fit for Mycroft. Take a look at our Crowdfunder campaign or give us a shout.
This past week we made our first new hire since June. Kale Ford has joined us in a dual role. He’ll be helping the Design team assemble and ship prototype Mark II devices. He’ll report directly to Derick and will be involved in every aspect of assembly from printing, to laser cutting to wiring work.
Kale’s other role is as a Quality Assurance technician where he’ll be putting the Mark II software through its paces on an ongoing basis. In this role, he’ll report directly to the CEO who is using the feedback to ensure the developers stay laser focused on the product.
The next major release of Mycroft Core – version 19.08 is right around the corner. The team is just wrapping up the packaging and testing. This release includes new features, bug fixes and significant enhancements to existing processes.
Here are some of the improvements that will be coming in this release.
- Significant speed and stability improvements to device boot and pairing processes (#2180, #2228, #2248)
- Update Mycroft Skills Manager to version 0.8.3 (#2280)
- Refactor MycroftSkill classes, service and manager (#2220, #2221, #2237, #2256, #2286, #2287)
- Improved handling of Skill settings (#2104, #2254, #2306, #2312, #2313)
- Improved Skill loading and shutdown (#2304, #2296, #2299)
- Update Skill tester and add basic support for get_response (#2284)
- Improve support for installation on Fedora and Mint (#2208, #2209, #2255, #2257)
- Support PulseAudio role ducking (#2282) and other improvements to audio ducking (#2273)
- New tools, log viewer (#2277) and configuration editor (#2290)
- Swedish additions to Lingua Franca (#2234)
- Standardize mocking imports (#2274)
- Removal of previously deprecated items (#2285)
- Core update attempt may cause Skills processes to fail (#2236)
- Error in downloading and installing Precise (#2245)
- Incorrect munging of some Adapt keywords (#2303)
- Ensure intents are registered before removing (#2235)
- Exception in Skill initialize method blocking loading routine (#2260)
- Lib-jack package conflict on some debian systems (#2266)
- Messagebus not respecting log level (#2291)
- False positives on internet connectivity (#2305)
- Many many many minor bug or typo fixes (#2119, #2228, #2233, #2241, #2242, #2258, #2271, #2279, #2301, #2311)
Want to help out here at Mycroft? There are so many ways you can be involved, depending on your experience and interests.
Mycroft’s First Officer, a serial entrepreneur and Air Force Officer, Joshua brings more than 15 years of leadership experience to the Mycroft team. He is a strong supporter of the open ethos, net neutrality and consumer privacy. Joshua lives in Holualoa, Hawaii with his wife and co-founder Kris Adair.