Google is launching a new initiative called AIY Projects, which will include a number of do-it-yourself artificial intelligence reference kits for developers starting with a new Voice Kit it’s announcing today. Google hopes the first project will help developers build voice command interfaces directly into products, using them to replace, for example, apps, physical buttons and digital displays currently used to control appliances and other accessories.

The Voice Kit will be the first reference development kit for AIY Projects, allowing developers to build speech recognition into accessories either directly on the device or using cloud APIs like the new Google Assistant SDK released late last month. It will also work with Android Things and Google is releasing a new Developer Preview 3.1 build specifically to support Raspberry Pi 3 and the new Voice Kit.

Google notes that the open source reference project extends the possibilities for AI development using Raspberry Pi. The Kit includes the following:

The first open source reference project is the Voice Kit: instructions to build a Voice User Interface (VUI) that can use cloud services (like the new Google Assistant SDK or Cloud Speech API) or run completely on-device… Voice Hardware Accessory on Top (HAT) contains hardware for audio capture and playback: easy-to-use connectors for the dual mic daughter board and speaker, GPIO pins to connect low-voltage components like micro-servos and sensors, and an optional barrel connector for dedicated power supply. It was designed and tested with the Raspberry Pi 3 Model B.

The Voice Kit will be for sale at Barnes & Noble stores nationwide in the US and WH Smith, Tesco, Sainsburys, and Asda in the UK. Google is also shipping it to MagPi Magazine subscribers this month.

The company is looking for feedback from developers and for future AIY Projects over at It also has resources for developers, including a parts list, assembly instructions, source code and suggested extensions, over at its new website

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About the Author

Jordan Kahn

Jordan writes about all things Apple as Senior Editor of 9to5Mac, & contributes to 9to5Google, 9to5Toys, & He also co-authors 9to5Mac’s weekly Logic Pros series and makes music as one half of Toronto-based Makamachine.