Skip to main content

My road to a privacy voice assistant

2 min read

Mycroft as voice assistantSince ages I have worked sporadicly on my home automation system. My first and biggest motivation was   to get ONE button to start the music system and play my music. Meanwhile I got a bigger plan: TELLING the system to play music.

And it should not be a kitchen radio with a lousy speaker.  I got the button-press-music working, and it does a lot:

  • Switches on the power plug from the amp
  • Switches on the amp with a IR-bridge
  • It sends a WOL packet to the mediasystem (Kodi)
  • It chooses a album from my media collection and sends a API call to Kodi to start playing

Right now it's buried into fhem (my old home automation software) and some custom python scripts. To be honest I don't know how it works anymore :)

So, to get the music played, I now only need to press ONE button :) But my plan is to tell the system "play music", just like Alexa in the tv spots. But of course, Alexa, Spotify and all the other cloud services are not an option as I want my system to be open source and to protect one's privacy.

That is why I've baked the Mycroft Mark II at Kickstarter and I plan to get my home automation setup ready for it! Here is what Mycroft wants to be:

The open answer to Amazon Echo and Google Home. Mycroft brings you the power of voice while maintaining privacy and data independence.

If all goes well Mycroft Mark II will be shipped by the end of the year. To get ready for it I plan to do a series of blog posts about it:

  • Describe the system I use and what i have learned
  • Integration of Kodi as a media center