A private home assistant: Mycroft Mark Two

  • 14/02/2018 AT 23:06 by It's a Gadget Staff
  • Technology

Mycroft Mark TwoThe Mycroft Mark Two is an open source voice assistant in the mold of Google Home and Amazon Echo but with a big difference. For this device, privacy is the word for users. The fact that your conversations are a big plus for this gadget.

Inside the Mycroft Mark Two

Within the Mycroft Mark Two is a Xilinx quad-core processor. The machine hears from a far-field 6-microphone array with hardware AEC, beamforming and noise reduction, stereo sound with dual 2-inch 10W drivers, a 4-inch IPS LCD touchscreen, Bluetooth capabilities, WiFi, a USB Type A, MicroSD card slot, 3.5mm audio out and a 18W power supply with international adapters. The dimensions of the gadget are 7.72-inches in height and 4.15-inches in width.

Privacy is the focus

For prospective buyers, the idea of the Mycroft Mark Two is security, giving you control of your data and information. You can trust that your data will have no one mining it or your data is used to make a profit. Plus, you will not have advertisements coming through the device. It is a bit worrying to think that your private conversations analyzed for advertising purposes, so this is good news for privacy-conscious people who want a smart home voice assistant. The data the device collects is opt-in and all the data is deleted when you are finished doing what you are doing.

Features and software

The screen shows users the weather, time, calendar and more are being added regularly. When the screen and voice interaction features are working together, it becomes easier for users to remember the information. When it comes to the Mycroft Mark Two and its voice recognition, the microphone system has Acoustic Echo Cancellation, Noise Reduction and Beamforming technology. This technology means that your voice will be heard and understood even if you have music, the TV or noise coming from somewhere nearby.

With the software, the Mark Two uses Pocket Sphinx (Changing to Precise) for the wake word, Mozilla DeepSpeech for speech to text, Adapt and Padatious for natural language understanding, Mimic for text to speech and Python for its skills framework.

Currently, on Kickstarter, the Mycroft Mark Two comes with the device, a power supply, and a quick start guide. The base model is $129, a model with a camera is $179, a Mark One and Mark Two together as a set is $199, and a three pack of the Mark Two is $299.

Source: Kickstarter


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