Do-it-yourself: with Google Play, Google Home also listens to other words

Google HomeDo you want to replace ‘OK Google’ with your own voice command? That is possible with Project Alias. With this hobby project from an Amsterdam designer, you listen to Google Home or Amazon Echo to a self-chosen magic word.

OK Google on Google Home like that

Unfortunately, Google only gives you two options for activating your voice-controlled speaker: ‘OK Google’ or ‘Hey Google’. If you try to attract the attention of your Home with ‘Hi Google’ then the Assistant does not pay attention yet, and even adjusting this ‘hotword’ via the Google Home app is not available yet. Bjorn Karmann, a Danish designer who lives in Amsterdam, has now come up with a solution.

OK Google

Project Alias is a blob that you put on top of your Google Home or Amazon Echo. The small device continuously plays noise that is inaudible to people, but which ensures that the Home can’t listen anymore. Then you choose a new hotword that Alias listens to. If Alias picks up that word, the device softly says ‘Hey Google’ to your speaker and the noise stops while your command is being passed on.

Eavesdropping made impossible

Alias has an extra advantage. Because the 3D shape on top of the speaker is continuously playing noise, Google or Amazon can no longer listen in on other conversations in your home. If you accidentally activate your Home accidentally or are afraid that someone is hacking and listening, you know with Project Alias that no one can understand your conversations. If you place the 3D shape on top of the speaker, Google or Amazon can no longer listen to any other calls in the house.

Build your own Project Alias

There is only one disadvantage: you will have to build Project Alias for yourself. The designer has an explanation on Instructables about how to put the device together. The job will cost you a few hours at most, but you do need access to a 3D printer to make the form.

A Raspberry Pi, small memory card and soldering tools are also required. The software and instructions are completely free; you will have to arrange the parts and tools yourself.

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