Adrian Chen

DIY Google Home With Raspberry Pi

Smart home devices are trending right now along with how we have improved ML and AI to help these devices to understand us better.

The one aspect of these devices I don’t particularly like, and that’s the price tag…

The Amazon’s Echo dot has the best value of just under £50. It’s bigger version Amazon Echo priced at £149.99, which is a significant jump.

Google on the other hand has the Google Home at £129, cheaper than the Amazon Echo but still a lot of money.

And let’s not forget the most over priced of them all the Apple’s HomePod (Probably the worst name ever). It’s planned to be released in December, and expected price around £350 in the UK.

With Google has recently released the Google Assistant SDK, I’ve decided to try making my own Google home installing this on a Pi, they’ve got great documentation on how to set it all up, it was very simple to do.

I’ve used what I had around the house to put it together, Here’s a video of what I end up with after getting it all setup:

A USB webcam dangling out of out of a pi is not as pretty as the google home :D

So I’ve went and bought a tiny USB microphone. I also found a Razer Mamba mouse packaging case to put the Pi in, after drilling some holes to pull the cables thru, looking much better than before:

"DIY Google Home"

I got it integrated with IFTTT, so I can turn on and off my lights in the house which was pretty fun. and they make it so easy, no coding required.

You can also use the Pi to run any custom servers or scripts such as hosting and end point for the Google Assistant to interact with. I’m currently thinking about running a cron job on my pi to play a youtube videos as an alarm, then uses Google Assistant voice commands to stop the running task. (What can go wrong!)

There are some limitation to this, not all of the google home features works with the Google Assistant SDK, it’s certainly lacking few of the major feature such as playing podcast and music playlists, and integration with chrome cast devices. These are not yet available but are planned on the roadmap.

The cost also wouldn’t be ideal if you have to buy the pi 3, the speaker, microphone, charger all together you maybe able to make it just under the Amazon Echo Dot. I wouldn’t recommend this approach unless you already have most of the parts needed.

You have any ideas or questions about Google Assistant SDK or smart homes? Drop me a comment~!

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