Over the past couple of years, big technology companies like Microsoft, Google, Amazon and Samsung have been shifting their focus on artificial intelligence (AI). They have also released parts of their system to allow developers work on getting apps, services and smart devices powered by AI. Also, last month, Google released its Assistant SDK (software development kit) for third-party developers, allowing them to build the Google Assistant into any smart device.
Google has also partnered Raspberry Pi for AIY (Artificial Intelligence Yourself), which aims to bring natural language processing to Pi with ‘Voice HAT’ (Hardware Accessory on Top) board and a speaker. The board will allow you to control the Raspberry Pi 3 similar to Google Home and Amazon Echo.
“The Voice HAT brings a microphone to the Raspberry Pi 3, which is one of the few areas it currently lacks support for out-of-the-box,” head of publishing at Raspberry Pi Russell Barnes told WIRED. He further added, “More than that, though, it brings the ability to integrate natural voice interaction to anything you want to do with a Raspberry Pi.” ALSO READ: Google Assistant SDK released for third-party developers, allowing anyone to make AI-based smart gadgets
The Voice HAT is being offered as a free accessory along with the latest edition of Raspberry Pi magazine, The MagPi. Priced at £5.99 (approximately Rs 510), the magazine ships with a stereo microphone, speaker, the required cables and the HAT board. While Raspberry foundation may release the HAT board separately later, the company hasn’t talked anything about it, yet.
The HAT works with Google Assistant SDK along with the company’s Cloud Speech API. The AIY kit also comes with cardboard box in which you can fit the HAT board. The board comes with easy to use connectors, GPIO pins to connect low-voltage components such as sensors, micro-servos and more. ALSO READ: Raspberry Pi 3: Everything you wanted to know about the credit card sized computer
The Raspberry Pi has already been used for a number of experiments revolving around physical controls, be it touchscreen, a bread board with a GPS-based RTC (real-time clock), and more.
Getting the ability to run Google Assistant opens up a number of possibilities – developers can make a voice-based smart mirror, they can control fans, lights and other things with their voice, get weather updates, traffic information, and much more. It now remains to be seen how developers can make the most of this opportunity.