Raspberry Pi: Transform the popular single-board computer into an Amazon Alexa home hub
Smart assistants have become increasingly mainstream in the last few years, especially with the likes of Amazon, Apple and Google pushing them into the home as smart speakers. However, the likes of the Echo Dot are not known for their audio quality, but you can get Amazon Alexa into your home in another way, which also offers a greater choice of speakers from which to choose.
Posted on Hackster.io, the project in question allows a Raspberry Pi to be utilised as an Alexa device. The built-in Bluetooth connectivity of the Raspberry Pi 3B+, Raspberry Pi 4B or Raspberry Pi Zero W would make them the easiest Raspberry Pi devices to use. However, you could use a Bluetooth adapter and an older Raspberry Pi if you prefer.
The project also calls for a Bluetooth speaker that supports at least AVRCP and A2DP-SINK, although built-in microphones would be useful for triggering voice commands. Alternatively, you could use a USB microphone if you have your heart set on using a specific Bluetooth speaker.
Using the Raspberry Pi as an Alexa device requires installing multiple software libraries and SDKs, as has been outlined in the project walkthrough. You will also need an Amazon developer account, but this is free to create. Hands-free functionality and the registration of voice commands must be registered for the project to work, too. From there, you must deploy the Alexa SDK to your Raspberry Pi and install Portaudio. Varun Walimbe, who published the project on Hackster.io, has also uploaded a video showcasing the finished project.