If you have ever wanted an application like Apple’s Siri working on open-source software and hardware, you are in luck.
Mycroft is just that: open-source software that functions exactly the same way as Siri does, but it is housed within its own hardware operating off of a Raspberry Pi 2 and Arduino. The best part, since it’s based on open-source software, is that it runs on Ubuntu’s Snappy Core.
“Mycroft has adopted Ubuntu Core and Snaps to deliver their software to Mycroft hardware, as well as Snaps to enable desktop users to install the software regardless of the Linux distribution they are using,” Ubuntu said in a blog post.
The project started out as a Kickstarter campaign, and to date it has raised $127 520 in funding. The idea behind it is to allow users to voice-enable any type of device – desktops, mobile devices, speakers, robots and more.
CEO of Mycroft, Joshua Montgomery, explained that the company opted to go with Ubuntu because it makes updating the application and software much easier for users.
“By deploying Mycroft on Ubuntu Core it is easy to install and update Mycroft without worrying about the underlying environment. This frees our developers to focus on creating a superb natural user interaction and fantastic skills rather than operating system issues,” he said.
The company is also working to use Snaps so that users can install the software regardless of the Linux distribution they are using.
“We see Snaps as a fantastic way to ensure users get the best Mycroft experience, by not having to worry about system library version mismatches or old versions of Mycroft in a distribution’s repositories. We are confident that delivering Mycroft using Snappy will provide a positive experience for our users,” he said.
But even though the project has been successfully funded on Kickstarter, there is still more work that needs to be done.
“The speech-to-text component of the project OpenSTT needs to be completed, the Mimic engine needs support for additional languages and Mycroft Core needs enhancements” said.Montgomery. “Developers interested in trying Mycroft or contributing to the project can find the source code at http://docs.mycroft.ai.”
If you want to see it in action, have a look at the video below, but essentially you can use it to voice-control anything from YouTube, Netflix, Pandora and Spotify. It also has an integrated speaker, so you can tell it to play your favourite song through on YouTube through its own speaker.