It was just last week when Valve announced that they were making the CAD files for the external parts of their Steam Controller publicly available for users to mod, accessorize and 3D print. Now, Amazon wants to get on the DIY wagon, too.
Organized and published to GitHub by Amit Jotwani, Amazon’s senior evangelist for Alexa, the “Raspberry Pi + Alexa Voice Service” project lets do-it-yourselfers tap into the Alexa Voice Service that has become the cornerstone of how Amazon wants users to interact with their platform – primarily through the company’s own Echo speaker.
“This project demonstrates how to access and test the Alexa Voice Service using a Java client (running on a Raspberry Pi), and a Node.js server,” explains Jotwani. “You will be using the Node.js server to get a Login with Amazon authorization code by visiting a website using your computer’s (Raspberry Pi in this case) web browser.”
The project, which also makes use of a USB microphone and other readily available cheap electronic components, requires some basic coding experience to get up and running. However, the guide does provide step-by-step instructions for obtaining the sample code, the dependencies, and information about the hardware you need to get the reference implementation running on a Rasperry Pi.
Unfortunately, the finished result does not include a “wake and talk” feature for hands-free use; in order to interact with the service, users need to press a button. Compared to the $180 Echo, however, a $40 Raspberry Pi, a little bit of elbow grease and perhaps even a custom 3D printed housing isn’t a bad way to take advantage of everything from purchasing more paper towels and fetching weather information to turning off the lights and even ordering a pizza.
Head over to the project page on GitHub for the full step-by-step instructions.