Sensitivity of wake word using Precise & distance to microphone


First, let me say that I am really impressed… I have installed Mycroft on an old laptop a few days ago and I find it amazing.

I’ve been browsing through the forum and I will surely reply in some of the discussions I’ve seen… However I haven’t seen the question I have here anywhere else.

When using PocketSphinx I was having some false activations quite frequently no matter what I did with the sensitivity settings, however I am not too surprised as I know that PocketSphinx is not “precise” at all… So I have switched the listener to Precise.
Problem is… I have to stand less than 2m away from the microphone now (I am using the PS3 Eye Camera that somebody recommended), while with PocketSphinx I could be much further - and as a matter of fact, my commands were being properly interpreted from 3-4 meters away most of the time…

Has anyone noticed the same difference, and do the sensitivity settings still apply when using Precise? The cli keeps saying things like this…

12:37:09.349 - mycroft.client.speech.hotword_factory:__init__:65 - WARNING - None module does not match with Hotword class pocketsphinx
12:37:09.379 - mycroft.client.speech.listener:create_wakeup_recognizer:264 - INFO - creating stand up word engine
12:37:09.380 - mycroft.client.speech.hotword_factory:create_hotword:268 - INFO - creating wake up
12:37:09.390 - mycroft.client.speech.hotword_factory:__init__:125 - INFO - Found precise executable: /home/seb/.mycroft/precise/precise-stream/precise-stream
12:37:09.392 - mycroft.client.speech.hotword_factory:download:197 - INFO - Downloading:
12:37:09.554 - mycroft.client.speech.hotword_factory:create_hotword:277 - ERROR - Could not create hotword. Falling back to default.

Thanks so much for your feedback @Old-Lodge-Skins, we really appreciate it. Your problem description was really specific and detailed - thank you.

There are a couple of things that come to mind.

When you had PocketSphinx set as your Wake Word listener, had you altered any of the sensitivity settings in Settings - under the Custom Wake Word settings -

The documentation linked above provides an overview of what the settings do. I suspect you may need to changed the Threshold settings to be more sensitive.

In particular, looking at those logs, it looks like it’s actually still using Pocketsphinx because it fails to download the model for Precise. It appears the wake word is set to Hey Mycroft. We should probably fix this, but right now it is case sensitive and the original wake word is lowercased: hey mycroft. Try changing it to that and see if it helps.

Hi @KathyReid and @Wolfgange

Sorry for not replying sooner, my home connection was down…

@KathyReid I used to work as a support agent so I know all about people just saying “help me! It doesn’t work!” :wink:

I did play with the sensitivity settings when using PocketSphinx - but it was just too sensitive no matter what I did, hence my decision to switch to Precise even though I prefer to call my home assistant “Jarvis” :stuck_out_tongue: but I can live with “Mycroft” no big deal. I tried to adapt them also now that I’m using Precise and didn’t see any difference.

@Wolfgange I’ll try that and see what happens. Thanks.

Ok… Something interesting just happened.

So… I made the change suggested by @Wolfgange and at the same time I decreased the multiplier to 0.5.
At first, this made no change… However when starting the CLI I kept seeing read timeout errors on and also another error that had to do with settings, so I figured maybe it wasn’t picking up the new settings.
And all of a sudden several hours later - I had left the system running without attending to it - it started working, out of the blue… I guess the new settings finally got picked up because I can now get my Mycroft to react from 4-5 meters away where my desk is, it works most of the time, and I have also been able to watch a movie without putting it to sleep and with no false activations at all… There’s been only one while I was attending a webinar which lasted for about 40 minutes, just one.
This makes it perfectly usable now! :slight_smile:

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That’s great news @Old-Lodge-Skins! Great to hear it’s working the way you want it to now!

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