This past summer, Amazon released its Echo smarter wireless speaker/digital assistant, which could be used for everything from playing music to reading the news, checking the weather and other information — all at the command of your voice.

Well, one man took the Echo's tasks a step further by manipulating it to control a power wheelchair by the sound of his voice.

Although the user doesn't provide step-by-step instructions about how he accomplished this task, the man did post a video to YouTube, explaining in the description: "Amazon Echo is a device that is voice controlled and by default responds when you address "Alexa." One of Echo's features is to turn things on and off. Using a Raspberry Pi running a Hue emulator, Echo 'thinks' it's turning lights on and off but is really in effect controlling a wheelchair. The control scheme is direction (forward, reverse, left, or right) followed by duration in seconds (one, two, three, or four)."

Following all that? For starters, we know from his description that he used the Alexa feature on the Echo — specifically the Alexa turn on X and Alexa turn off X commands. He then created a control system with the Raspberry Pi acting as a Hue Emulator, able to follow through on voice commands and essentially eliminating the need for Amazon servers, overriding them.

Obviously, this is not what Amazon intended for its Echo device and with still-murky details on how this person was able to pull this off, perhaps the tech giant should be concerned with future manipulations of the Echo.


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