Mycroft & The Need to Tinker

Legos are one of the most popular toys of all time.  They are the parts we use to build the things of our imagination.  Minecraft is now the third most popular computer game of all time.  Like Lego it allows its users to build the things of their imagination.

So what do you imagine you’d like to have in the future?  Gene Roddenberry’s imagination has sparked some real world inventions.  What about yours?

Just a few years ago everyone was interfacing with their devices through a keyboard.  Now we not only type, but we can also touch and talk to our devices.  The touch method has shown vast improvement over the years (thank you iOS and Android), but the voice recognition, although more accurate than first introduced, in still an immature part of interfacing with our devices.

Part of the reason for this immaturity is the cost of implementing a system and the strategy tax associated with the businesses who can develop those systems.  Siri is very capable, but only within the walled corridors of its design.  Similarly Amazon’s echo, Microsoft’s Cortana and Google’s voice recognition all come with some degree of functionality behind fixed walls of corporate strategy.

In 2016 all of that is going to change.  Instead of having to nest voice functionality into one of these systems that voice functionality can be ported, modified, tinkered with and used in any application.  How?  Mycroft is coming.  Mycroft is an open source voice capable artificial intelligence that can be programmed by its community.  Whether that community is a small business or a college student with a project.  For the software/hardware/internet of things world this is a big as Lego and I can’t state that enough.

Having a cross platform open source AI engine small enough to run on inexpensive devices such as the raspberry pi Raspberry Pi will enable the next generation of hobbyists and innovators to grow niche products for the niches you didn’t know you needed to fill in your life.  Large corporations won’t have to contract with Dragon in order to get voice recognition working.  The cost of an expensive contract on the back end will reduce the cost to the consumer on the front end, and with expenses down for everyone you’re more likely to see more devices enter the marketspace.

To build the internet of things builders need inexpensive components to build with.  Because the internet of things might be the best area to benefit from voice interface this key component is likely going to make a huge difference in both cost and accessibility.