Mycroft Precise is the Open Source Wake Word listener that has been developed from the ground up at Mycroft. It’s proving to be a valuable improvement to the Mycroft stack, supported by the Community through their tagging at home.mycroft.ai. As Precise has improved, it has garnered attention from Open Source circles and other companies looking for Wake Word spotting. We get requests and notes regularly about using Precise for custom projects.
But every so often, we get this question: can Precise detect something other than words? And through those requests, we’ve found that Precise as a framework is very flexible.
Recently some of the Mycroft team was chatting with fellow Techstars and 500 Startups alum Graham Dodge, CEO of Sickweather. Dodge mentioned he was looking to propose an innovative system to the Kansas City Health Department to detect coughing in public spaces. We decided to take a shot at training a Precise model on some recordings of coughs and see if we could work together on a proposal to help cities better track illness in these public spaces.
With a few recordings collected, Precise creator Matthew Scholefield trained an initial model. We were pleased enough to go back to Sickweather and present our capability. Dodge invited Dr. Sarah Martin, PhD, MPP, MPH of the KC Health Department to our offices for a demonstration.
“We coughed and the indicators on the screen validated the sound as a cough,” said Dodge. “And when other noises were made, like a book dropping on the floor, it understood that those weren’t a cough. It performed exactly as we had hoped.”
“It reminds me of the ShotSpotter technology for detecting gunshots, and the implications for public health are just as exciting,” said Dr. Martin. “I imagine that it could not only provide the earliest warning for respiratory outbreaks, but could eventually understand the nuance and patterns in types of coughs and their potential causes.”
Since Mycroft is working with Sickweather on this joint venture, we’ll be joining them at their upcoming Cold Cough Flu Conference on October 15 (also Global Handwashing Day) with a demonstration of our Precise technology and use cases in healthcare.