TalkSocket: A voice-initiated multi-assistant mobile experience

Originally published at: TalkSocket: A voice-initiated multi-assistant mobile experience - Mycroft

Who wants to access Mycroft on their phone? We all do, right? And while we want that for you as well, we aren’t there yet. But TalkSocket is. At least, they can provide a critical piece of the experience. That is why we are partnering with them to help make Mycroft a supported option for their new hands-free device. It’s a great first step.

They are working with OtterBox and PopSockets to bring you voice access to your phone. We learned about them on Kickstarter and immediately backed the project. Then we reached out to see how we could get Mycroft added as an option. They’ve agreed to support Mycroft as the third voice assistant on the TalkSocket in the future. While we don’t have a timeline for an official Mycroft app for either Android or iOS, this device solves a major technology roadblock to making that happen.

When we’ve explored the possibility of developing Mycroft for Android and iOS apps in the past, it became immediately obvious that the user experience would be a major issue. Both Google and Apple deny anyone else the ability to continuously run a voice assistant. The app must be manually launched, and the listener triggered with the push of a button. This may not seem like much, but it’s a huge barrier for anyone who has come to expect a voice-initiated experience and significantly changes how you use it.

There are of course privacy and security concerns with letting any application have this type of access, however we believe that these can be effectively managed with the appropriate policies and procedures. The current stance of companies like Google and Apple are an abuse of their position as platform providers to prevent genuine competition at a critical time in a growing market.

TalkSocket tackles this head-on, providing a voice-initiated multi-assistant experience that doesn’t exist on any other device today. Your support for the TalkSocket project now will help to make Mycroft for Android and iOS a development priority once the Mark II is released.




This post got me hooked and I ultimately backed TalkSocket as well with the vision to have Mycroft available on my phone.

Respectively, I’d be curious to hear from you if you have some more concrete plans here in the meantime.
Upon me commenting on the Kickstarter site and asking about TalkSocket’s plan to support Mycroft, I received the following message:

Our intent is still to add additional voice assistants to our platform, like Mycroft AI but we don’t have a definitive answer on when that will be. All of our resources have been allocated to making sure Alexa is optimized as we are still a small startup.

We are happy to refund you for the product and shipping if that’s the direction you’d like to take.

In principle, I’m patient and not in a rush here. The promise of using Mycroft to operate my Home Assistant setup is quite strong.
But it’d be good to hear if this is realistic to come at all or if priorities and resources are not available any time soon… No hard feelings, I’d just take the refund then.

/cc @system

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I’m in the same boat as you. Mine just came in a couple weeks ago and i’m eager to hear more about news about if they have plans to open up the platform.

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