Mycroft Mark II

Media Kit

LIVE on Indiegogo!

The Mark II is the second smart speaker from Mycroft AI.  Mycroft is an open voice assistant that designed with privacy and user agency in mind.

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Media Contact

For more information or any press inquiries, please contact:

media@mycroft.ai

or call 816.287.1992

To learn more, please visit mycroft.ai and be sure to follow our socials!

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Why We're Different

Voice is coming to every device, every platform and every household globally. The technology is becoming a critical part of nearly every technology stack, and has a growing presence within the home as an AI assistant.

This calls for voice to be flexible, customizable, vendor neutral, and privacy focused; things that the proprietary voice assistants on the market today don’t offer.

Mycroft’s open platform differs from products like Alexa or Assistant in four important ways.  Data privacy, customization, user agency and open data.

Privacy – Mycroft’s platform provides users with privacy by deleting queries in real time.  User data is not mined, aggregated, processed or sold.

Customization – The agent can be customized by changing the wake word, voice and even the user experience.

User Agency – Mycroft is also the first assistant that embraces the concept of user agency--other voice assistants don’t represent users, they represent the companies that own them.  Mycroft is different, it represents end users.

Open Data – Mycroft is publishing data from users who have decided to opt-in.  This open data set is being used to improve wakeword spotting, speech to text transcription, natural language understanding and speech synthesis.

Mycroft is a full feature voice platform that can be deployed anywhere, or used in conjunction with our devices. Our next generation hardware device, Mark II is a wireless smart speaker that plays music, set timers, can access calendar events, search for general knowledge and has everything else the public has come to expect from a state-of-the-art voice assistant.

Mycroft AI Crowdfunding History

In the fall of 2015 we went to Kickstarter and Indiegogo to see if there was a market for our idea. We raised $193,000 USD and turned Mycroft from a project into a company. We fulfilled all crowdfunding orders in July of 2017 - putting Mark I units in the hands of 1,500 backers. Between these two dates, we’ve progressed rapidly, growing our team from 9 to 20, and have watched voice transform from a niche technology into the next big thing.

Our first crowdfunging campaign sold an advance prototype, Mark I. Still an open source, open hardware voice assistant, it was targeted at the makers and hackers. Mark II is for all consumers, flexible, customizable, open, and privacy focused; something the current technologies don’t offer.

About this campaign

We learned a lot of lessons from the production of Mark I.  Combined with feedback from our community and customers we decided we could do much better.  It’s time for an upgrade.

Crowdfunding is a great way to build community and estimate demand.  Funds from the campaigns will help us to continue to democratize voice, build open data sets and advance the state of AI.  With vendor relationships in place and a much more comprehensive picture of international shipping, tax structures, and regulation we are confident that the Mark II will ship by the end of the year.

20k

Mycroft users in over 50 countries.

Milestones and Traction

Milestones and Traction

The success of our first Kickstarter and Indiegogo campaigns brought the realization that there was a significant market for an independent voice assistant--an AI for everyone.
Shortly after our first Kickstarter we were invited to join Techstars. After the program we shipped our first developer kits, and began growing an open source community. The strong demand from Kickstarter coupled with a solid play for enterprise sales allowed us to finish the year with $350,000 in financing and a $50,000 grant from Launch KC.

Customers

2017 brought an ever growing community, customers, and pivotal technical milestones.

Investment

Early in 2017 we accepted a strategic investment from Jaguar Land Rover and began working with their team in Portland on a test integration with the FTYPE sports car. Shortly thereafter we joined the prestigious 500 Startups program in San Francisco. Recently we completed negotiations with our first major corporate customer and hope to make a public announcement early next year. In between this, we oversubscribed our $750,000 Series Seed round, won another $50,000 grant at Techweek Nationals, and another $15,000 at Hello Tomorrow in Paris.

Community Growth

In July we fulfilled our crowdfunding orders, putting over 1,500 units into the hands of makers and hackers in 56 countries. We’ve continued to add thousands of users per month, and seen significant month over month increases in developer contributions to the Mycroft stack. We’ve had upwards of 20 releases and over 100 skills.

Technical Wins

Our technical team got several innovative machine learning solutions in place including a state of the art speech to text engine – DeepSpeech – which we built in partnership with Mozilla. In December we hit our final machine learning task; bringing speech synthesis in-house. This makes us one of 10 companies globally that has a complete intelligent assistant stack. The others are Google, Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Tencent, Baidu, Samsung and Microsoft and Hound.

Going Forward

Over the next year, our team will work to make Mycroft the go-to voice technology in open source. When developers and enterprises think “open source and voice” Mycroft’s performance will earn the technology the top spot. We’re working to simplify developer onboarding - making it extremely easy for developers to install, use, and modify the technology. Our goal is a developer experience that is pleasant, simple, and satisfying.

Technical Milestones

  • Wake Word: Continue to improve the accuracy of the Precise Wake Word software, and pre-train several Wake Words.
  • Speech to Text: Continue to partner with Mozilla with a view to implementing DeepSpeech.
  • Intents and Skills: Continue nurturing the Mycroft developer community, providing on-ramps and tools to allow developers to easily build and share skills for Mycroft. We’re also looking to make it easier to integrate Mycroft with third-party services using common tools like OAuth.
  • Text to Speech: Continue improving the Mimic open source text to speech software, and make more voices available.
  • Personality: Allow customization of the Persona that Mycroft adopts for interaction style with a user - for example cheeky, serious or sarcastic.

Leadership

Joshua Montgomery Headshot

Joshua Montgomery

CEO

One of the few entrepreneurs in the US to build a gigabit fiber network from scratch, Joshua is a serial entrepreneur with more than 15 years of experience. The ISP he built, Wicked Broadband, featured in Wired and Forbes is a testament of net neutrality support and underlying principles long before they became a buzz phrase. Joshua is an Air Force Captain, an aerospace engineer, and a hacker at heart. He oversees all aspects of Mycroft and is a firm supporter of the open source movement committed to an open future for AI.
Mycroft COO

Nate Tomasi

COO

Nate Tomasi brings two masters degrees and years of experience building and scaling businesses. He’s worked closely with our CTO at Rythm Engineering helping to scale and monetize an AI traffic optimization company.
Nate is responsible for the Marketing, Legal/HR, Finance/Accounting, Manufacturing, Customer Support, Community Relations, and General Operations Teams.
His passions come through in his work by keeping a customer service driven philosophy at the forefront of everything he does, from working with team members to helping build our community.
Steve Penrod

Steve Penrod

CTO

Steve brings over 20 years of product development experience to Mycroft. He lead technical teams at companies like Autodesk to build cutting edge technology. Before Mycroft, Steve built “Christopher” a technology to control the home by voice.
Steve notes “I'm thrilled every time I open the front door and Christopher (now a part of Mycroft) welcomes me home by name, turns lights on and reminds me of a upcoming meeting from my calendar.”
Kris Adair

Kris Adair

Co-Founder

Kris Adair is the co-founder of Mycroft AI, an experienced Entrepreneur, and serves as the marketing director at Mycroft. She lead the most successful Kickstarter ever to come out of Kansas, a project that launched Mycroft from Makerspace to company. She also serves as the executive director of the Lawrence Center for Entrepreneurship - a makerspace, co-working environment and data center.

Derick Schweppe

CDO

Derick has been with Mycroft since the launch of the first Kickstarter. He has designed everything from consumer electronics, housewares, soft goods, tools, and aircraft interiors. Before joining Mycroft he worked for clients like Coleman, Learjet, and Copco. Derick is responsible for all design disciplines within the company, leading the team that works on UI, UX, and hardware design.
mycroft-ai-lead-developer-you

You!

Various roles - Lead Developer, Machine Learning, Natural Language Understanding, Marcomms and more

Got .py? Been learning TensorFlow? Comfortable on a Debian environment like Ubuntu, Jessie or Stretch for RPi? git like a boss? Good with other humans? Have some leadership chops and ability to tackle things like technical mentoring, roadmaps and product management?

Do you understand machine learning, natural language understanding? CMU Flite, Sphinx?

Active Campaign, WordPress, or Marketing and Communications?

Deps met?

We'd like to hear from you. Reach out through our Angel List page.
https://angel.co/mycroft-a-i/jobs

Mycroft Launches an Open Alternative to Alexa and Assistant

Want a voice enabled speaker, but concerned with transparency and privacy? Mycroft provides the answer.

Palo Alto, CA, January 25, 2018 – Mycroft AI has announced the pending release of an open source equivalent to Amazon Echo and Google Home. The Mark II smart speaker is powered by the Mycroft intelligent assistant, an open source full feature voice platform.

The company’s latest device, Mark II, has been designed to provide an open alternative to Google Home or Amazon Echo. The Mark II is a consumer ready smart speaker with a built in screen, optional camera, and state of the art microphone array with noise cancellation and beamforming.  These improvements to the Mark I improve wakeword spotting and allow user barge in.  

Mycroft’s open platform differs from products like Alexa or Siri in four important ways.  Data privacy, customization, user agency and open data. Mycroft’s platform provides users with privacy by deleting queries as they come in. The agent can also be customized by changing the wake word, voice and even the user experience. Mycroft is also the first assistant that embraces the concept of user agency--other voice assistants don’t represent users, they represent the companies that own them.  Mycroft is different, it represents end users. Finally, Mycroft is using data from users who have opted in to publish an open data set that can be used to improve wakeword spotting, speech to text transcription, natural language understanding and speech synthesis.

The Mark II is also completely open. Open hardware, open software and open data. Any company interested in deploying voice enabled products can use the design as a baseline. Mycroft has already demonstrated its technology in a Jaguar F-Type sports car and is working with a number of major brands to deploy custom voice solutions.

“The Mark II will be a game changer,” says Mycroft CEO Joshua Montgomery, “deploying an intelligent personal assistant will no longer be a hundred million dollar proposition. Anyone with an internet connection will be able to have a custom voice agent and, importantly, they won’t have to give up their privacy to do it.”

Amazon sold an estimated 5.2 million Echo units in 2016, and the voice assistant was the best selling product across their e-commerce platform in 2017. Soon voice will be part of every platform, every device and every household globally.  The market is expected to reach $25 billion by 2020, but it lacks an open, neutral, independent, and privacy-minded alternative.

“We see voice as an important part of every human machine interface going forward,” said founder Joshua Montgomery, “our job is to make sure that everyone has access to the technology. We are democratizing voice and creating a level playing field for industry.”

Founded in 2015, Mycroft is the open source answer to Siri or Alexa.  Mycroft has strong relationships with the open source community and is rolling out across all of the major open operating systems in 2018.  Mycroft’s has received financial investments from Jaguar Land Rover, 500 Startups, Techstars and Kickstarter backers in more than 56 countries and 38 states.

Mycroft in the News

General coverage of Mycroft

Coverage of our Mark II Campaign,

Find a larger list here.

Quotes

"I love what Mycroft is doing. Artificial intelligence and machine learning are becoming a common component in our businesses, homes, and elsewhere, and with such a fundamental connection between people and technology, it is essential that the technology is as open and transparent as possible. Mycroft's focus on community, transparency, and delivering simple and expandable AI is what we need to ensure the AI revolution is in good hands." - Jono Bacon, Author, Consultant, and Leader in Community Strategy and Open Source


"Voice is the next frontier for user interfaces and artificial intelligence. Mycroft ​is the open source solution to voice and I am excited to see the​Mycroft team propel this journey to the next level." - Lesa Mitchell, Managing Director Techstars


"Mycroft is a super platform for Makers interested in exploring and using Voice. It is open source and well supported by the company and community of users with quick answers on the forum. The underlying language of skills is Python, so if you can write it in Python, you can use it on Mycroft and very importantly there are already large number of skills available to learn from" - Greg Voronin, Community Developer and Maker

“Unlike some technologies where correct and incorrect is easy to define, Artificial Intelligence has to deal with fuzzy lines.  Shaping these AI entities to serve the world should be managed in an open way where it can be researched and understood by all. - Steve Penrod, Mycroft AI CTO