For users who are enthralled by voice assistant technology such as Amazon Echo and Google Home, but a little hesitant to use one due to security concerns, then Mark II – the Open Voice Assistant developed by Mycroft is what you have been looking for! The Mark II is designed to bring consumers the power of voice while ensuring that their privacy and data is protected. Already accomplishing its Kickstarter goal within 7 hours of launching and gaining steady traction in social media circles, we take a look into the ins and outs of this charming device.
So my privacy really stays secure?
That is correct! The Mark II is currently the only voice assistant device that respects your privacy as it deletes queries as soon as they come in. The Mycroft platform was setup by innovators who are highly motivated to ensuring that the technology remains transparent and genuine. Unlike all those main technology companies in the market who are formulating malicious ways to harness your precious personal data, Mark II is open source. Mycroft is a neutral player and will never mine your conversations to store for targeted ads and other precarious reasons.
Wow… so tell me more about the Mark II
The Mark II operates by voice assistant technology which means if you need to set your alarm, request 80s rock songs, hear the latest news, find out the weather… then you can easily talk to the device and it carries out your command with a flourish.
The Mark II is actually the upgraded version from the original Mark I (well the II did give it away!). Mark II is new and improved which comes with better hearing capabilities, a new stylish design to its predecessor and superior quality speakers to amp up any space.
The Mark II comes with a fashionable screen that is streamline and clear cut. For example, it showcases the upcoming weather forecast along with stunny visuals to really gauge the viewers attention. No need to listen to all the numbers including the minimum and maximums! No one has time for that!
A fantastic enhancement for us is that it now consists of multi-microphone array instead of the single microphone from the original model. This means that all background noise is cancelled out, even when the speakers are blaring your favourite Britney Spears tunes (*ahem* we all have our guilty pleasures) so that it can detect your voice and perform your requests as instructed. You only wish it was this easy to get your children’s attention ey?
What skills is the Mark II capable of?Since the Mark II is open source, that means the programs it can use is not limited and therefore the skills it can perform is growing every single day. For example, it can generate a shopping list, set an alarm, tell you the weather, and stream videos from youtube. This is in stark contrast to other voice assistant technology such as Apple’s recent product the Homepod which users are finding very difficult to play non-Apple music. No surprises there! Mark II will allow you to choose where you can stream your favourite playlists from and not restrict you to a certain application only. Neat!
Latest Kickstarter News
Since this brilliant product already met its Kickstarter goal within 6.5 hours, there are a number of stretch goals to meet in the campaign’s final 10 days!
The first stretch goal was achieved which means the fabric colour – Near Black – has been unlocked.
And just recently, the second stretch goal for the fabric colour – Ice – was reached!
Furthermore, a new reward has just been released ‘Mark II with a Camera’ which is fantastic for enthusiastic backers. The internal camera has 1080p video quality with DSI interface and a mechanical shutter to physically block the lens to retain your privacy if you wish.
The Mark II is a definite asset for people who want to keep their personal life private (which it should be!) and away from the nosey big tech firms. We are particularly drawn to its fine tuned hearing reception that responds to our commands even with background noise in the area and that its skills is continually expanding without pesky limitation. Furthermore, it will be available soon for other languages such as French and German which is a definite plus in our book! Why must English speakers get all the fun?
Keen to get your hands on one of these? Then make a pledge on Kickstarter before the deadline! At this time of publication, there are 10 days to go so get cracking! Or, if you have missed out, you can easily preorder the device via Mycroft’s website directly.