Hi! Mycroft was only brought to my attention recently - I really love this idea and want to see it succeed.
But all of the feedback here is telling me that the existing mic doesn’t cut it and to be frank this was my number one concern about the device, as the demos on the buy page looked like pretty small rooms - in addition the actor needed to stop what they were doing - specifically address the device itself in a crystal clear quiet environment.
Because this is open source - this is not necessarily a showstopper! I’m contemplating putting together my own custom one - but I’d prefer not to have to.
As you’re asking for ideas -
I think you should chuck some more capabilities at the device. if it’s to interact with everything, you’d be well aware there’s plenty of communication standards.
I had a quick look online and there’s some really nice raspberry pi shields you could use to extend the device.
First one I found that looked any good was this:
This ticks the boxes of a decent microphone array and adds a crapton of features to the device which is all about interacting with IoT.
As is, the Mark 1 is a stationary device. Why does it have to not move? why not give it at least some portability?
Add some battery backup to the device - preferably rechargable batteries (I know adding batteries complicates the shipping). Kids can pick up mycroft and take it around the house etc and ask it questions. mycroft can tell them when its disconnected from wifi or other things like batteries running low or if it’s been left in the sun, can make comments about being rough-housed etc.
Even for adults this would be useful - where i’m from, we also get blackouts, and it’d be good for it to work even when there’s a brown out without waiting for reboot, or damage to data etc.
Further thoughts on voice assistants and AI
Your competitors are google home, and the echo. As is, any of these products do not respect my privacy. Google home, Alexa - all of these are basically devices that are designed to slurp up audio data and ship it to the cloud where I don’t control it. I’m not quite sure what Mycroft uses - pocketsphinx is mentioned in the github which is an offline tool, but so is googles API? it’d be great to process this stuff into a command locally, and send that off to cloud services if necessary. privacy is a selling point and it’s not mentioned at all! people seem to want to happily run in and add always on microphones all over their house that send to the cloud - but I’m not a big fan of this.