For its first move into the world of AI smart speakers, Google did a commendable job with Google Home. The feature-set for Home was fairly packed at launch, and since then, helpful new features have either been added or been promised to debut at some point in the future. Google Home also looks rather sleek and modern from a hardware point of view, but if you’re someone who’s a fan of retro designs, there wasn’t a lot to like there.
Thankfully, with a bit of technical know-how and patience, it’s possible to get a Google Home-like product in as retro of a getup as they come — a 1986 Radio Shack intercom.
A guy named Martin Mander uploaded a video to YouTube this past week showing off a Google-styled intercom speaker that can bring up the Google Assistant for a command by pressing its main speaker button. Mander managed to put all of this together with a Raspberry Pie, Google’s Artificial Intelligence Yourself kit that came bundled with issue 57 of the MagiPi magazine, and the intercom body itself (of course).
When Mander presses the main button on the intercom, a circular LED light shines in the upper-left corner to indicate that the Google Assistant is listening. Once Mander asks the Assistant something, it goes on to answer him exactly like what you’d find with the Google Home.
This whole project took Mander about a month doing some work here and there, and while it’s something that not all of our readers will be up tackling, the end result is seriously impressive. We doubt that the successor to the current Google Home will resemble a design anywhere near these lines, but hey, it doesn’t hurt to dream, right?