A DIY, Visual Alexa

Talking to computers is all the rage right now. We are accustomed to using voice to communicate with each other, so that makes sense. However, there’s a distinct difference between talking to a human over a phone line and conversing face-to-face. You get a lot of visual cues in person compared to talking over a phone or radio.

Today, most voice-enabled systems are like taking to a computer over the phone. It gets the job done, but you don’t always get the most benefit. To that end, [Youness] decided to marry an OLED display to his Alexa to give visual feedback about the current state of Alexa. It is a work in progress, but you can see two incarnations of the idea in the videos below.

A Raspberry Pi provides the horsepower and the display. A Python program connects to the Alexa Voice Service (AVS) to understand what to do. AVS provides several interfaces for building voice-enabled applications:

  • Speech Recognition/Synthesis – Understand and generate speech.
  • Alerts – Deal with events such as timers or a user utterance.
  • AudioPlayer – Manages audio playback.
  • PlaybackController – Manages playback queue.
  • Speaker – Controls volume control.
  • System – Provides client information to AVS.

We’ve seen AVS used to create an Echo clone (in a retro case, though). We also recently looked at the Google speech API on the Raspberry Pi.

21 thoughts on “A DIY, Visual Alexa

        1. Very true but the carbon footprint based on emissions when comparing farm stock to two-wheel human transport is comparable to within an order of magnitude.

          (I tried indicate on my first message that I was being sarcastic but it didn’t get posted. I’m just clowning.)

  1. IF you go on the official alexa avs build page it will guide you on how to install and set it up on the rasspbery pi WITH ALEXA WAKEWORD DETECTION!

    I’ve done it and it works quite well with the 360 kinect microphone. i also created a mouse input script to automate the login process on startup. (it’s the only way there is because it’s a java gui). ill post a video sometime.

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