Google includes a Raspberry Pi in a DIY smart speaker kit

The inside of Google’s updated Vision Kit


Google wants to make it easier than ever to build your own smart home gadgets. The search giant’s latest kits hit Target stores this month and include everything you need to make either a smart speaker similar to a Google Home or a smart home camera that can recognize faces and expressions.

The kits are called the AIY Voice and AIY Vision kits respectively. AIY stands for “Artificial Intelligence Yourself.” It’s a take on Do It Yourself (DIY) for smart tech. The idea of both kits is that you can use the included pieces to build a fairly advanced piece of tech on your own.

Google might be hoping that with these tools, its community of developers will be able to find ways to make smart speakers and smart cameras even smarter. In Monday’s blog post announcing the updated Kits, Google also expressed an interest in helping teach students computer science skills.

Google previously released both kits in 2017, but the limited releases did not include some of the necessary pieces such as the actual processing unit. Both kits are meant to be used with the Raspberry Pi brand of microcomputer popular with programmers, but you had to buy the Raspberry Pi separately.

The updated kits will include a Raspberry Pi processing unit (specifically the Raspberry Pi Zero WH) and the Vision Kit will include a Raspberry Pi camera as well. Clearer directions will also be included in the box. Plus, Google’s releasing a companion app to walk you through the process of making your own smart gadget, and Google’s AIY website will have updated documentation.  

Head here for more details on what exactly the kits include. If you want to build your own smart home gear, Google’s promising both will be available at Target stores and on Target’s website this month.

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