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Yet Another Voice Module (Sphinx + Alexa)

  • Hey all,

    I’m happy to be making my first post to this community. I discovered it recently when embarking upon making a Magic Mirror and am impressed by the active support and discussion that occurs. Not sure if this post belongs in Development or Showcase as the module is mostly done, but I just had a daughter and may not be able to provide initial support for it so wanted to do a soft release here first.

    I know there are existing voice modules for MM2 but I found my use case was to use Alexa alongside Sphinx, providing all the voice recognition functionality within one module. This prevents different modules competing for resources (microphone) and having to synchronize the allocation and deallocation of these resources. The hope is that non-audio related functionality will be handled by other modules, there is a not yet documented command with action “sendNotification” that will allow configuring certain voice commands to invoke a process in a different module.

    Another goal for this project was to eliminate the need for lengthy configuration and setup. The module prefers convention to configuration, and most of the nerdy voice recognition and Alexa setup is bootstrapped for the user during the load. This allows the user to have a simple json configuration and the module will generate the appropriate ssh keys and language models/dictionaries required for the module to work.

    Enough talk, here is the module. Pull requests warmly welcome, around documentation or functionality. Thanks.

  • Project Sponsor Module Developer

    Sounds great… what is the response time like?

  • Sounds great… what is the response time like?

    Response time of what? Loading time is pretty slow given the bootstrapping, but that should only happen once. The Sphinx client actively listens for commands as set in the JSON sphinx:commands dictionary and processes speech every time you pause. Alexa will record until you are quiet for over 2 seconds and then send it off the Amazon Voice Services. Guessing this response is similar to an Echo but I’ve never owned one.

  • Project Sponsor Module Developer

    I own and Echo and it’s pretty quick 🙂

  • That’s pretty cool.
    I have amazon alexa running alongside the MM2 on my pi too. Mine is just a simple work around and I have to click(I use a button) start listening each time I want to interact with it.

    So it its always listening in your version?

  • So it its always listening in your version?

    Yup, Sphinx is always listening (as long as Alexa is not listening). You can configure the command that invokes Alexa in the sphinx:commands dictionary. Any key in the object will be recognized by Sphinx and perform the action as configured by the value. For example:

    "mirror mirror": {
      action: 'alexa'

    Saying “mirror mirror” will trigger Alexa.

    Note from admin: Please use Markdown on code snippets for easier reading!

  • I’ll give this a try when I get some free time this weekend.

  • Project Sponsor Module Developer

    sed -i ‘s/“electron-prebuilt”: “latest”/“electron-prebuilt”: “1.2.8”/g’ package.json
    sed: can’t read package.json: No such file or directory

  • sed -i ‘s/“electron-prebuilt”: “latest”/“electron-prebuilt”: “1.2.8”/g’ package.json
    sed: can’t read package.json: No such file or directory

    Answered in the GitHub issue

  • If I already have the alexa voice service set up on the pi is there an ‘easier’ way of setting this up or would it be better to start from scratch?
    I’ll of course back up my sd card before playing with this.

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