To showcase the Mark II to the world, Mycroft took our latest prototypes to CES 2019. We met retailers, integrators, and media to generate interest in the Mark II’s launch. Our Kickstarter and Indiegogo backers obviously come first, but we’ve now got a queue of top-tier tech journalists looking to review Mark II when it launches.
Check out some of the articles below that came from conversations, press releases, and the Mark II demo we were showing off at CES.
Ry Crist from CNet first wrote about Mycroft in 2015. We were able to catch up with Ry at CES to show off the Mark II demo. In addition to the article, there’s a video on the page of a first look at the Mark II with Ry offering some words.
” If all you want is a basic smart speaker that can turn your lights on and off, play some music, show you a weather forecast, answer general knowledge questions, set kitchen timers…
…you know, maybe this thing isn’t really so basic. Those “limited” features would cover about 97 percent of my own smart assistant needs … Mycroft might be a name worth remembering, particularly as smart home privacy concerns continue to linger.”
At CES, Mycroft’s CEO had a chat with Larry Magid of CBS News Radio. It’s a good, quick interview that was syndicated nationwide. In this particular interview, Joshua got into the future implications of voice and how more natural interactions will change how much the software’s backing matters.
Our friends at Voicebot were at CES as well and had a conversation with eight voice innovators, including our CEO. Things to listen here for are plans for pushing more of the stack to the Mark II thanks to the FPGA and Personal Backend.
As perennial Maker Faire attendees, we were happy to make Make:’s 15 favorites from CES. It’s a brief feature, so it’s below in full (but still go check out the other cool stuff).
“Mycroft Mark II is an alternative to the Echo/Google Home, allowing the user to create their own private voice assistant that doesn’t connect to a server to collect data. It features an 8-microphone array, high-quality sound, and a visualization screen. It connects to Wikipedia and Wolfram Alpha to answer your voice queries. It recently funded on Kickstarter.”
IAPP is the International Association of Privacy Professionals, and their Associate Editor, Ryan Chiavetta, made a stop at Mycroft’s booth during the event. His article focuses on how different showcasing companies responded to privacy questions – if they were asked at all.
Mycroft got a mention in this Slate article about the privacy concerns of current voice assistant providers. The article hints at the current relationship between data collected and software usefulness. Here at Mycroft we know that by being open and cooperative with our Community, we can break that relationship.
“A glimmer of hope at CES 2019 came in the form of a new open-source virtual assistant called Mycroft that promises never to collect your personal data. … [The] device shows that some in the tech world are starting to regard privacy as a core feature of virtual assistants, rather than an afterthought.”
Joshua had an opportunity to sit down with Dave Graveline of Into Tomorrow, who’s 1.45M weekly listeners got a taste of what’s to come with Mark II.
“And it does what every other smart speaker does, only better and without the privacy concerns!”
Mycroft got a spot on PCMag’s Most Interesting Startups at CES 2019 list. We’re happy to be recognized.
“There’s an odd juxtaposition in tech right now. Companies are releasing more smart speakers than ever at a time when we’re all growing more conscious of how our apps and devices infringe on our privacy. That’s what made Mycroft AI a refreshing change of pace.”
Jeff Porten from TidBITS highlights Mycroft and Mark II’s open nature, noting that “a commitment to open source is congruent with the right privacy intentions” for a privacy-centric voice assistant.
The New Innovations in Consumer Electronics (NICE) Awards Recognize Products and Companies at CES Using Technology in A New, Innovative Way
Benzinga has initial coverage of Enventys Partners‘ inaugural NICE Awards. Enventys is a leader in product development and marketing for crowdfunding campaigns and they’ve recognized the Mark II as an especially innovative product from CES.
Be on the lookout for more about the NICE awards soon!
Another article highlighting Mycroft’s potential as a viable, private alternative to existing assistants comes from David Cardinal on Extreme Tech.
“In terms of price (under $200 depending on configuration) and hardware functionality (multiple microphones, easy-to-read display, overall form factor) Mycroft II is certainly reasonable. If you want to develop your own skills for it, then it is a great way to do that without being beholden to one of the tech giants.”
James Bagshawe from Gizmodo UK wrote this reflection on technology, control, and agency directed to the tech enthusiast who may never click a spammy pop-up, but chase the latest gadget without reading the terms and never has location turned off on their phone.
“It stings particularly hard given there is another way. Not every AI assistant is a privacy train wreck. Mycroft is an AI assistant that is open source and – praise be – does not record you all the time … I’ll take the rough edges please, Bob, in exchange for personal liberty.”
Episode 105 of Tech Zone with Paul Amadeus Lane was all about Mycroft. Paul and CEO Joshua Montgomery take some time to talk about science fiction and how it inspires technology, the Mark II, and the future of voice.
Midwest tech and startup outlet Silicon Prairie News was out at CES and stopped by a number of Plains and Midwest booths. They asked questions like: What brought you to CES? – Why exhibit? – Why build [your company] on the Silicon Prairie? – Advice for other Midwest tech companies looking to show at CES in the future?
Podfeet stopped by the Mycroft table at ShowStoppers and had an excited conversation with Mycroft about privacy, open source, and Mycroft’s name.
“Mycroft may be used in anything from a science project to an enterprise software application. Since Mycroft is open source, there is a diverse community of developers creating thousands of Mycroft skills that are available to anyone.”
“I’ve finally found something to do with my Raspberry Pi!”