Get Organized with Cyman Mark 3 – Virtual Assistant for Chrome

This article was first published on: Jan 23, 2014.

If you’ve seen the Iron Man movies, you’re probably familiar with Tony Stark’s J.A.R.V.I.S. system, the digital home assistant he built for himself. In the films, J.A.R.V.I.S. wakes Christine Everhart up, helps Tony Stark develop his Iron Man suits, engages him in conversations and generally manages almost everything in his life.

If you’ve always fancied having something like J.A.R.V.I.S. in your life then, the Cyman Mark 3 Assistant Dashboard might be right up your alley. It is a virtual assistant that will help you organise things, automate tasks, set reminders, find information and almost everything else you’d expect from your own digital personal assistant.

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Getting Started

First, download both the Assistant Dashboard itself and its Cyman Mark 3x Chrome helper extension from the Chrome Web Store. After you’ve installed both the Dashboard and the helper extension, you can launch the Dashboard from Chrome’s App Launcher.

When you first launch it, you should be prompted to log in to Cyman. You don’t have to register an account, as it will log in to Cyman using the Google account you’re signed in with on Chrome. It will also remind you to install the Cyman Mark 3x extension as well.

Login To Cyman

Once you’ve logged in, you’re good to go. Before you begin using the Assistant Dashboard though, you have to tell it your name and optionally, your gender. You can also change the name it responds to, if you feel like it.

Cyman Mark 3 Assistant Dashboard Features

Note that the Cyman Mark 3 Assistant Dashboard responds to both voice and text commands. Of course, for the full J.A.R.V.I.S. experience, you’ll want to use voice commands, but rest assured that you’ll be able to use the Assistant Dashboard even if you don’t have a microphone – it just won’t be as cool, that’s all.

Now that that’s out of the way, let’s look at some of the things the Cyman Mark 3 Assistant Dashboard will do. As with any good real-life butler, the Mark 3 Assistant Dashboard can be asked to create lists and reminders. To set up a reminder, for instance, simply use the “remind me to” command.

Setting A Reminder

On a related note, you can also schedule actions for the Assistant Dashboard to do using the “remember to” command. You can, for instance, tell it to automatically open your favorite tech news site in 10 minutes or tell you a joke at 10 a.m. every day.

You can also ask Cyman to look for factual information. Just ask it something factual using commands such as “who is”, “how old is” or “what is” (amongst others) and Cyman will use sites such as Wikipedia, Google and Wolfram Alpha to get this information and then present it to you. It will also open a new Chrome window with the Wikipedia page of whatever you searched for. Cyman can also do a Google Images search for you if you ask it what a particular thing “looks like”.

Retrieving Factual Information

Of course, the J.A.R.V.I.S. comparison wouldn’t be complete without alarm functionality. It won’t automate your house like in the first Iron Man film, but Cyman will indeed wake you up almost exactly like J.A.R.V.I.S. did. Just tell it to “set my alarm” to a particular time. By default, the Assistant Dashboard will read out the latest general news headlines as part of the alarm, but you can change the news feed that it will read out.

Setting An Alarm

This isn’t all that Cyman Mark 3 Assistant Dashboard can do, of course. It can also retrieve and read out news headlines, translate text, open and close tabs in Chrome, tell you jokes, convert between different units of measurement as well as find nearby places of interest. There are a number of example queries in the Dashboard itself to help you get started, but the best way to find out what it can really do is to just give it a go yourself.

Upgrade Options

If you’re thinking that all of this convenience comes with a catch, you’re right. The free account (or “user profile”), called Prototype, limits you to 25 commands per day. That’s probably enough for general light usage, but if you want more then you’ll have to upgrade to either the Shell or Armour user profiles.

Shell costs $2.12/month and increases this command limit up to 75 per day. The Shell account also allows you to send texts and make calls through the Assistant Dashboard, as long as you have the Cyman Mark 2 Assistant app installed on your Android smartphone.

Armour costs $3.78/month and removes the query limit entirely. It also adds the ability to receive mobile notifications on your computer as well as use your smartphone to control the desktop app, again in combination with the Cyman Mark 2 Assistant app.