Support for voice commands with the Raspberry Pi is here. The Windows 10 Creators Update brought forth an IoT Core with Cortana support to the Pi 3, and now the diminutive computer boards have been hooked up with Google Assistant.
This is thanks to a partnership between Google and the makers of the Raspberry Pi, who put their heads together to produce a new Voice HAT that sits on top of the miniature computer (like a ‘hat’ – although the acronym actually stands for Hardware Accessory on Top).
You can get the accessory bundled with the latest edition of the MagPi (the official Raspberry Pi magazine), in a kit which also includes all the necessary wiring and other bits and pieces – like a speaker, microphone add-on board, and cardboard case to house the project – along with step-by-step instructions on how to build it.
The finished product offers voice control via Google Assistant, so you can just treat it as a simple digital-assistant-in-a-box. However, there’s also the ability to program custom commands for whatever other use you may have in mind for this box of tricks – like driving a voice-powered robot (“robot – move forward!”).
It’s pretty nifty stuff, and the project can be powered by a Raspberry Pi 2 or 3, or a Raspberry Pi Zero board.
As we mentioned at the outset, last month also saw Cortana support come to the Raspberry Pi 3 courtesy of the Creators Update for Windows 10 IoT Core, the version of Windows designed for IoT gadgets like the Pi.
If you’re running this OS (as opposed to Raspbian, for example) on your Pi, then you’ll be able to build Cortana-powered smart devices which respond to the same voice commands you can give your PC – or indeed you can program custom commands, as with the Voice HAT.
The world of the Raspberry Pi is fast becoming a much bigger place with many more possibilities for keen tinkerers.