Pine64 is a company that sells single-board computers, laptops, smartphones, tablets, and smartwatches that are designed as hacker-friendly devices capable of supporting GNU/Linux and/or other free and open source software.

Now the company is branching out into the smart speaker space. The PineVox is a work-in-progress smart speaker designed to run open source voice assistant and/or home automation software like Home Assistant.

Detailed specs haven’t been revealed yet, but Pine64 says the speaker has a Bouffalo Lab BL606P processor, with two RISC-V CPU cores and support for WiFi, Bluetooth, Zigbee, Ethernet, and USB functionality.

There’s also a hardware kill switch for the microphone, which not only triggers software to mute the microphone, but only allows the microphone to be re-enabled by flipping the hardware switch, making it impossible for the mic to record your voice when it’s been disabled.

Pine64 also says the PineVox speaker is “designed specifically for voice applications rather than music playback,” which is probably great if you’re looking for a voice assistant… but maybe not what you’re looking for if you were hoping for a voice-controlled music speaker (although you could probably use the PineVox as a controller for a connected speaker).

More details should be available closer to launch, but for now Pine64 says developers are working “to get a minimal firmware image ready” for demonstration purposes.

The company has a habit of shipping hardware with little software support, instead relying on independent developers and enthusiasts to build a software ecosystem around its products. That helps keep costs low, but also limits the appeal of Pine64 hardware, at least when new products first launch.

Pricing and availability information for the PineVox haven’t been announced yet.

via Pine64 Blog

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  1. competition for myCroft… yawn
    company not updating the site, producing something without optimization. Not for me. PineDio doesn’t work.

    They have some positive ideas, but the realisation doesn’t work

    1. It’s not competition for mycroft because mycroft doesn’t exist anymore.
      You might call it competition for that “openinterpreter” 01 ping pong ball thing assuming that’s not a scam, not to be confused with the Python project “open interpreter”.

  2. I was very encouraged to read that the PineNote’s software is receiving some developer love. This device potentially has some advantages over what’s currently available, imo.

  3. I realize that pine64 is making hardware and ‘letting the community’ handle software, but I’m a tad annoyed that pine64 hasn’t help make the wifi drivers exist for the pinetab2.

    All of this is to say I’m wary of buying more from them.

    That being said, I haven’t had issues with the pinecil, and the pinetime was ok — but, again, the community is what has slowly been making the pinetime useable.

    1. This is not true. Pine Store helped community a lot with wifi drivers for PineTab2, and we already received new drivers from BES, which are much better now, as it is said in latest blog post.

  4. They’re also going to bring out bone conduction headphones – maybe they should call them PineductionPro…but they really ought to have feature parity with the W02 from Tayogo to be an attractive proposition.

  5. Wow. It’s been a long time since their last blog post…
    Also worth keeping an eye open for in this space is Purism’s potentially taking over from where Mycroft left off.

  6. Ah, but music playback is the only thing I ever wanted a “smart speaker” for.
    And because attempting to get a vocal shell to make sense of my directory structure is a pipe dream until someone randomly decides that’s a problem that needs to be solved with no doubt a hefty amount of VRAM, and none of my songs are anything I know other people have heard and approve of, in the end it only made sense to either queue up playlists, pretend I’m not using a remote, or just use an Echo when people are over and unplug it the rest of the time.
    And when you already have a NAS, it might make more sense to load the home server functions onto that.

    1. Well, all that said, I’ll still be interested if people find that the sound quality is good enough, and loud enough, and it works as a bluetooth speaker, and there’s an aux line out so I could use external speakers, and I can use the external speakers while it’s being a bluetooth speaker, and the commands to pair don’t require a phone or internet connection.