There’s little debate that Amazon’s Alexa ecosystem makes it easy to add voice control to your smart home, but not everyone is thrilled with how it works. The fact that all of your commands are bounced off of Amazon’s servers instead of staying internal to the network is an absolute no-go for the more privacy minded among us, and honestly, it’s hard to blame them. The whole thing is pretty creepy when you think about it.
Which is precisely why André Hentschel decided to look into replacing the firmware on his Amazon Echo with an open source alternative. The Linux-powered first generation Echo had been rooted years before thanks to the diagnostic port on the bottom of the device, and there were even a few firmware images floating around out there that he could poke around in. In theory, all he had to do was remove anything that called back to the Amazon servers and replace the proprietary bits with comparable free software libraries and tools.
But he had a few challenges to overcome and that is what makes the article below interesting to read. He'll be publishing his source code at GitLab in the near future. Another benefit was being able to change the local wake word to something other than Alexa.
See Amazon Echo Gets Open Source Brain Transplant
There’s little debate that Amazon’s Alexa ecosystem makes it easy to add voice control to your smart home, but not everyone is thrilled with how it works. The fact that all of your comm…