[Naran] was intrigued with the Amazon Echo’s ability to control home electronics, but decided to roll his own. By using a Raspberry Pi with the beta Prota OS, he managed to control some Phillips Hue bulbs and a homebrew smart outlet.
Prota has a speech application, which made the job simpler. He does point out though, that his project doesn’t replace the Echo’s ability to answer questions by searching the Internet. The advantage, though, is it is easily tailored to your specific application. Also, if you have a Raspberry Pi hanging around, you can’t beat the price.
We couldn’t help but wonder if this was the easiest way to go though. We always have a couple of old Android phones with no service around. Connected to WiFi, they do a great job of answering questions with Google Now and have excellent speech recognition. A simple voice app could do wonders here, even it wound up still sending electronic control signals to the Pi. On the other hand, it is hard to write an Android app that always listens and doesn’t require you to tap a button (or, at least, say “OK Google”) to make it start (or restart) listening.