Forcing Amazon Alexa Compatible Stuff To Speak To Google Assistant

It took a long time, but it’s 2019, and we’re starting to get used to the concept of talking to a computer to make it control things around the house. It’s not quite as cool as it seemed when we saw it in films way back when, but that’s just real life. The problem is, there’s a multitude of different systems and standards and they don’t all necessarily work together. In [Blake]’s case, the problem is that Woods brand hardware only works with Amazon Alexa, which simply won’t do.

[Blake] went through the hassle of getting an Amazon Alexa compatible WiFi outlet to work with Google Assistant. It’s a bit of a roundabout way of doing things, but it works. A TP-Link HS-105 WiFi plug is used, which can be controlled through Google Assistant voice commands. The part consists of two PCBs – a control board that speaks WiFi, and a switching board with relays. [Blake] used the control board and hooked it up to a Raspberry Pi. When switched on by a command from Google, the HS-105 sets a pin high, which is detected by the Raspberry Pi. The Raspberry Pi then runs a software implementation of the KAB protocol used by the Woods hardware, triggering it when it receives the signal from the TP-Link hardware.

If we understand correctly, [Blake] had to go to this trouble in order to make his special outdoor-rated outlets work with his Google Home setup. Hopefully interoperability improves in years to come, but we won’t hold our breath.

We’ve seen some pretty convoluted projects in this space before, often using IFTTT — like this ESP8266 voice controlled tank.

21 thoughts on “Forcing Amazon Alexa Compatible Stuff To Speak To Google Assistant

    1. These switches work with Home Assistant, so that is the way I would do it, since Home Assistant can be the bridge between the hardware and whatever voice protocol you decide to use (Siri, Alexa, Google). I just got my Home Assistant server up and running with both Alexa through Haaska and Siri through Homekit.

      1. More that it is currently just like a interior decorator being a architect, combined with piping information in and out of the house that should’ve been firmly kept on property under lock and key.

        1. I actually agree, but it’s still tiresome to see the keyboard warriors posting the same points over and over again whenever something even vaguely related to IoT is mentioned. The same copypasta with minimal substance isn’t going to persuade anybody.

          1. Sounds like we need a hack to the control points (Alexa/Google home base stations) that inserts itself as an on/off microphone switch that is activated by your own arduino/raspberry pi implemented voice recognition for “Mic On” and “Mic Off”. Then you know it can’t hear anything until you tell it to start listening.

          2. I’ve been doing home automation for years… decades if you include X-10… then later Insteon with ISY controller and it’s dual band AC serial port, Z-wave, etc. Then things fail or run outdated firmware that is no longer supported. Then comes reality… A failed wall switch that costs $80 if you replace it yourself… ISY (1st gen no longer supported)… modems (I’m on my 3rd now) to communicate with the house. The old and simple $5 wall switch lasted 30 years until it was worn out or you remodeled to Decora… Yes… automation is nice.. but faced with costs over time, and effort to keep it working, you start wondering what amount of perceived convenience is actually worth the investment? Being emotional about this, or as a hobby, logic doesn’t apply. Everything else, it comes down to value for money. I’m now *very* selective.

  1. I run my own firewall and kept logs of all activity for a few weeks. Both google’s and amazon’s speakers DO NOT listen in and report back ANYTHING beyond what you specifically say right after you activate them. If you want to deny yourself the amazing services they provide out of fear, go ahead and stay stuck in last year. Stop spreading FUD about something you don’t understand. Claiming they eavesdrop is just telling everyone you are afraid because you are too lazy to try to understand a simple device.

    1. ” go ahead and stay stuck in last year. ” … That resembles me! I like automation projects for ‘fun’, but everything automated stays within the house. Voice control will have to get to the point where you don’t need ‘Google/Amazon’ to translate for you. A personal assistant, not a global assistant.

  2. I… kinda don’t understand what he’s doing here. As far as I can tell, he’s using a Raspberry Pi to detect a GPIO change on a TP-Link HS105 smart switch, and using that to generate sending commands to a non-Google Assistant device via a custom Wi-Fi protocol.

    So… why does he need the smart switch? You can use a Google Home to send commands directly to a Raspberry Pi via IFTTT, so why not just do that directly?

  3. If only the givernment would at least lightly enforced antitrust laws, then may be we would have less persistent proprietary tech. I know it is much more complicated than that, but the givernment has totally abandoned the antitrust role in any meaningful way. Thus stuff is not really proprietary in any meaningful way at the interface level as far as I can tell

  4. I know we often give cred to people who do impractical “hacks” just because it’s cool, but this project is a dumb waste of time (and the result is a mess anyway).

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