The Amazon Echo is one of those sought after devices that are small, powerful and quite on the pricey side, but luckily there is a way to get roughly the same result while saving some bucks.
We look for inspiration at the YouTube user Novaspirit Tech, who takes a step by step approach to building your own Amazon Echo using Raspberry Pi.
Seeing how an out of the box Amazon Echo costs $180 and an Amazon Tap requires you to shell out roughly $130, we look forward to seeing what the do it yourself guide can provide.
First off, to build your DIY Echo you need the following hardware devices: a Raspberry Pi, a USB sound card, an external speaker, and a push button. The last item is really important, as the terms and conditions of using the Alexa Voice Service do not allow coders to directly use voice activation commands on it. This means that for voice commands to function, you have to push the button first.
Some users might not appreciate this extra step, but it is a small price to pay for such a versatile device that can be tweaked to your liking. The Alexa Voice Service is able to answer questions, report on traffic and business trends and read audiobooks.
What is more, you could use the gadget for omni-directional audio, listen to music from streaming services and even control household items such as thermostats, lights, switches and compatible smart devices.
When it comes to the coding part, you will need a series of software integrations that include Google Cal/iCal, Wolfram Alpha, a to-do list app, IFTTT, Wunderground, and the list could go on.
Head over to the YouTube video of Novaspirit Tech to see the detailed instructions on how to assemble your home-made Echo, or simply watch it below.
For further information, there is a long thread on Reddit where techies debate the ups and downs of building the device on your own. It should be mentioned that users could get a big help from Jasper, the open-source platform that specializes in developing always-on, voice controlled applications.
Raspberry recently launched the Pi 3, so DIY enthusiasts can benefit from the powerful microcomputer to set up their own version of Amazon Echo.