Mark II Update - July 2021

Originally published at: Mark II Update - July 2021 - Mycroft

Mark II Production Update

Mycroft is steadily moving toward mass production of the Mark II. The first step in our journey is selecting a contract manufacturer (CM). Mycroft has decided on a CM after vetting several prospects. We are currently working on finalizing the contract; once that is signed, we will announce our CM! We will also share more information in future updates on the key steps required to get to production.

Due to the major global semiconductor (chip) shortage, Mycroft is not yet able to establish firm production run dates. We are proactively working with our CM to get the best possible information about chip sourcing options, including availability. Once we have a better picture on the supply picture, we will place orders for the needed chips. This will enable us to get production units out as soon as possible.

Dev Kit Update

The remaining Dev Kits are in the process of being kitted. We are expecting they will ship out by the end of July. We will send an update to people who have Dev Kit orders once that is firm.

Icon Themes

Icons are regularly used in user interfaces to provide clear and simple actions for a user. These might include informative contextual icons like the Weather Skill, or buttons like media controls, menu items or other functional buttons.

We want to provide a consistent experience for users as they use Mycroft – both verbally and visually. We are utilizing the Icon Theme system that is available in Linux as opposed to using hardcoded icons for both the system and individual skills. Icon themes provide a defined set of icons pre-installed on the device that Skill authors can use in their GUI design. Using icons from the theme means that your Skills graphical interface will match with the rest of the system graphical interface as well as other skills. It also means that downstream projects will be able to provide their own icon theme giving their devices a unique but consistent look and feel.

Consider the difference between a Mark II sitting on a bookshelf in the corner of your lounge room, compared to Plasma Big Screen displayed on a 65″ television. They each have their own brand, and part of that is the context in which they are used. The visual needs for a large screen are quite different from a small table-top device. Of course, you aren’t restricted to the provided icons. If you’re a Skill author and you want to use your own custom icons you can continue to do so knowing that users of your Skill will get the same visual experience across all platforms.

Other Software updates:

  • Added ability to interrupt Mycroft’s speech mid-sentence. Previously Mycroft would always finish the current sentence.
  • Improved stop behavior of Alarm and News Skills.
  • Fixed Camera Skill not saving images. A recent change to an underlying package prevented photos from the camera saving correctly.
  • Fixed incorrectly named variable causing GUI to crash.
  • Upgraded PIP version to latest (v21.1.2).
  • Finally we are continuing to improve the default Skills with a lot of work going into the Weather, Alarm, Timer, and News Skills this month. These will be released as they are ready.