Use These Super-Cheap Development Boards to Control Your Gadgets With Google Assistant

If your smart home gadget can’t be controlled by voice command , is it really smart at all?

The rise in popularity of the Amazon Echo and Google Home means every new connected device should work with AI voice assistants like Alexa and Google Assistant, but that doesn’t mean you have to spend a ton of money to upgrade. There are cheap development boards that can give your latest creation the ability to respond to voice commands through a smart speaker. If you’re just starting out, there are two options worth looking into: Particle Photon ($ 19) and CHIP ($ 9).

(First, a quick guide: a breadboard is a circuit board with a microprocessor, multiple buttons, LEDs and pins for connecting to other devices. They are great for testing new products and applications, and their small size makes them ideal for development of gadgets for smart home.)

Both Particle Photon and CHIP are perfect for anyone looking to tinker with setting up a smart home. They are small enough to fit in most other gadgets without taking up a lot of space, and if you are developing a product for sale, they are also cheap enough to bring down the price later on.

They both support Wi-Fi, making it easy to connect to your smart speaker of choice. They can also connect via USB and work with a variety of sensors and mechanisms, so every little development board goes a long way.

Google actually recommends Particle Photon to anyone trying to add Google Assistant controls to their product. This development board has been designed with the internet in mind and won’t take long to work with your smart speaker. One man even hooked it up to his garage door to open it with a voice command.

CHIP offers a similar solution for just under half the price. It might take a little more work for this development board to connect to Google Assistant for voice commands, but it’s definitely doable. You can run Google AI directly on the CHIP development board by following the instructions here .

If you’re looking for something easier to use or a little more advanced, there are many other options , but these cheaper models are a great way to test the water.


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