In a counter-intuitive business move, Amazon has released the official instructions for how to build your own knock-off Amazon Echo using Raspberry Pi. It’s by no means a total beginner’s project, but anyone with an interest in hardware play and some rudimentary programming skills can whip together their own Alexa-controlled personal assistant in no time at all. The official guide is available on GitHub, and all you really need is a Raspberry Pi 2 and a few sundry other parts.
What other parts, you may ask? Well, the USB microphone is kind of a no-brainer, but the rest of the stuff is pretty common fare. A microSD card, for instance. You should know going into this that you’re not going to be able to emulate the full Amazon Echo experience from this guide. Due to some built-in restrictions on Amazon’s Voice Services, your homespun device won’t be able to listen to trigger words passively. This kind of sucks, as it’s kind of one of the main selling points of Echo, but you’ll still be able to get Alexa’s attention with the simple press of a button.
We’re not going to go into the full step-by-step guide here, but if you’re interested in getting started on a new DIY electronics project, look no further. Those intrigued should definitely check out the GitHub. It seems like a great way to learn a little bit more about hardware and get your hands dirty creating a fairly state of the art little contraption right in your living room.
What do you think of this jerry-rigged Amazon Echo? A worthy project, or are you more interested in just forking over the cash for the real deal? Let us know if you’ll be breaking out your Raspberry Pi for this undertaking in the comments below!