Our Kickstarter went live this week.
It was fully funded in the first 6.5 hours. BUT that doesn’t mean we’re done, MarkII pre-orders are still available for 28 days. Check out the new specs and get your hand on a unit! Reward tiers are going quick.
The successfull start of our Kickstarter is a product of our awesome community. From developers, social media followers, and the press publications below. We can’t thank everyone enough.
But on another note, check out the articles below! Covering Mark II, Mycroft privacy benefits, and all things in between.
Amazon owns my Echo; I’m just feeding it. Mycroft seems to be the premier open alternative to Amazon and Google’s assistants.
“It sucks that it takes software built and given freely by volunteers (and companies who sidestep the path of world domination) to get the giants of the computer industry to treat their users like people instead of chess pieces. But if that’s what’s required, I guess I’d better do my part:”
“But unlike big tech’s smart speakers, Mycroft won’t store any voice data on its servers unless you opt into a program that improves speech recognition for open-source voice projects. Users who do share their data can rescind it at any time. Mycroft has already raised more than double the $50,000 it was seeking to fund the device on Kickstarter and plans to ship by the end of this year.”
“Unlike similar gadgets from other companies, Mycroft won’t store your voice recordings. It also won’t use data about you and your lifestyle to serve you targeted ads. And, because the code is all open source, you don’t have to take their word for it—you can verify it yourself.”
“Mycroft doesn’t store every voice snippet it hears. It deletes the recordings as they come in.
Your data is safe by nature. It won’t result in you seeing ads on the internet about pizza just because you asked it about the best pizzeria in town.”
“This evolution of the original, which targets consumers, looks seriously promising. Currently still in its Kickstarter phase, though it did reach its funding goal in 6.5 hours, the Mycroft Mark II is a consumer ready smart speaker that offers a built-in screen, optional camera, and state of the art microphone array with noise cancellation and beam-forming.”
“The Mycroft Mark II, as it’s called, is a new smart speaker that recently landed on Kickstarter, and, unlike the more familiar models such as the Amazon Echo and Google Home, this one has our best interests in mind. Or so its creator, Kansas-based creator Joshua Montgomery is keen to stress.”
“Smart speakers are all the range in tech these days and soon it will be the battle of the titans. But as those giants scuffle, the small men, the consumers, sometimes get trampled on. Especially their privacy. It’s no secrets that the likes of Amazon and Google want your data. They promise to do no evil, but you can never really tell. Consumers have opted to just accept the status quo in exchange for convenience. Now, however, they don’t have to compromise just to get an Amazon Echo or Google Home experience, with the Mycroft Mark II Open Voice Assistant speaker.”
“The industry is in the early days of utilizing smart digital assistants. The use of artificial intelligence leveraging personal data enables a unique user experience on-the-go, far removed from the clunky, inarticulate voice technologies of the past.”
“The device supports many of the same features as other smart speaker with for example built-in support for 140 different skills working with Roku, Twitter, Pandora, Wikipedia, Facebook, Philips Hue, and more.”
Mycroft Mark II Open Voice Assistant Kickstarter Project hits 300% of goal with 935 backers in 4 days. Only 24 days left in campaign.
“The Mycroft Mark II project was fully funded in an astonishingly short seven hours, guaranteeing that the project would proceed. After only four days, the project has exceeded its pledge goal of $50,000 by 300%. As of this writing, 935 backers have pledged $150,801 so the project is most definitely a “go” and the project team is currently developing stretch goals to extend the project’s scope.”
The Mycroft Mark II voice assistant can be extended and customised but won’t share your data.
“An ongoing concern with voice assistants is what they share. With Mycroft Mark II ($99 DIY or $129 pre-built), sharing extends to capabilities, not data. This personal assistant won’t convert your ramblings into targeted ads, but is backed by a community keen to extend its capabilities – which you can check in on by asking: “What’s new today?””
“It is a voice assistant platform that’s designed to work just like the others (Amazon Alexa, Apple Siri…) but it’s an open source project that places an emphasis on privacy. Mycroft sends your data to a cloud server to process requests, but the developers say they never save data unless you opt in, and never use your data for advertising purposes.”
“Users can easily customize the way they interact with the Mycroft Mark II. Also, it is incredibly easy to use. Anyone in your home can interact with the smart speaker without any problems. Naturally, the speaker itself is quite powerful.”
“Its Mark II is a smart speaker powered by the Mycroft intelligent assistant which is open-source. Alternatively, you may create your own virtual assistant with Mycroft and a Raspberry Pi. But the Mark II is a consumer-ready smart speaker for use out of the box. Its predecessor, the Mark I, is one of the best Amazon Echo alternatives. Armed with a bevy of enhancements, the Mark II is poised to follow in its footsteps as an incredible intelligent assistant option.”
“Concerns over data security has many consumers weary of the way that their information is being used by the technology around them, so the ‘Mycroft Mark II’ voice assistant has been created to help calm concerns. The unit works by putting a focus on transparency and offering users the ability to see exactly how their data is being processed, which allows them to customize how the unit works to ensure it suits their needs.”
“Mark II is the smart voice assistant developed by Mycroft AI which smartens the living spaces with intelligent reminders and handy information service. Mark II listens carefully to the environment and ignores everything but the wake-up word.”
“Some Kickstarter projects sound interesting, but you can sense they are doomed to failure when you see lack-luster pledging performance. Others, by comparison practically scream, “I’m heading for success!”
As an example of this latter category, consider the Mycroft Mark II Kickstarter Project. This launched early on Thursday, 25 January 2018. When I first looked at the Kickstarter page around 11:00 a.m., they had already raised $28,583 of their $50,000 goal. Just a couple of hours later, supporters had pledged $40,000+, and this is still only the first day! We should all be so lucky with our Kickstarter projects.”
“Say you want to call a rideshare, Joshua offered as an example. Mark II would refer you to the service that’s closest to you and costs the least amount of money. Not whichever company paid them to be the default rideshare provider.”
Mycroft Mark II: Smart Speaker with an open source voice assistantMycroft Mark II Is “An Open Answer To Amazon Echo & Google Home”
“Voice assistants are everywhere these days, with each of those companies working to get their virtual assistant software running on as many speakers, phones, PCs, and other gadgets as possible.
And then there’s Mycroft. It’s a voice assistant platform that’s designed to work just like the others… but it’s an open source project that places an emphasis on privacy.”
“In a “canary in the mine” for Aaware’s technology and for this type of offering, a startup called Mycroft has integrated Aaware into a full-blown open-source, hackable smart speaker – the Mycroft Mark II, and launched the product on Kickstarter. In addition to taking advantage of Aaware’s high-performance voice isolation and recognition capability, Mycroft is banking on consumers resonating with the decidedly non-corporate approach, touting the fact that no audio data will be captured, uploaded, or used for nefarious purposes such as ad targeting by the big-data overlords.”
“The device looks sleek, it comes with a high-quality 4-inch display, multi-microphone array, and high-quality stereo speakers. The display is designed to show details such as timers, calendars, weather forecasts, and more.”
Listen to an interview with Jono Bacon and Joshua Montgomery on the current Kickstarter, the evolution of Mark I, and the role of open source and privacy in AI and digital assistants.
Alyx works as a business analyst for Mycroft, working with data to shape metrics and the broader marketing strategy. She also writes these blog posts.