Mycroft: an open-source AI tool to make your smart home smarter
Artificial Intelligence is everywhere. Self-driving cars, world’s sexiest robot or Go champion, all are the miracles of artificial intelligence. How about an AI-powered device leading all the connected gadgets in your home? Sounds appealing, right? Voice activated personal assistants are in vogue thanks to Apple’s Siri and Google Now. Amazon Echo is one of the first smart-home assistants that brings voice control into the picture. However, a new startup is putting a similar value on voice control. Mycroft, the world’s first open-source, open-hardware home AI platform.
Despite looking a bit like a cute alarm clock, Mycroft is more than just a cute face. It’s an open-source, AI-powered smart home assistant with Raspberry Pi 2 in heart and Arduino controllers at its core- two of the world’s most popular open development platforms. Using natural language processing it responds to your voice, making online services like YouTube, Pandora, Netflix, and other services available to you immediately. Want to hear a song? Just say its name and Mycroft will perk up. Then give it a command like “Mycroft, play ‘When I Come Around’ from YouTube on my Chromecast,” and it will follow suit.
Mycroft works directly with your smart-home gear and lets you control the Internet of Things, be it your WeMo devices or Philips Hue lights. Command your devices with the sound of your voice and it will do so, starting from turning off lights, locking doors to feeding your pets. In short, anything that is connected to the internet, Mycroft can control it. Also, the cheeky face can deliver you updates on the news and weather.
Powered by Snappy Core Ubuntu, the system is now formed of four software parts: the Adapt Intent Parser that transforms the natural language commands of users into data the system can pursue; the Open Speech to Text; the Mimic Text to Speech engine; and the Mycroft Core (available on GitHub) to complete the parts.
Beneath the cute face, Mycroft runs on a Quad-core ARM Cortex-A7 processor with 1GB of memory. You can connect it to your home router directly with an Ethernet cable or wirelessly. The company started a campaign on Kickstarter last year, which went off by generating over $127,520. Another subsequent Indiegogo campaign also raised $164,216. The price is $129 for the early backers, and they will get the device by July 2016.
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