Friday, March 16, 2018

Google Assistant on your Smart Phone

I can not believe it is already almost a year ago since I wrote my story about my homemade Google Assistant. As you maybe remember I build my own Google Assistant with a Raspberry Pi and used it to control the lights in my home. The trick was that the Assistant send commands to IFTTT and IFTTT used webhooks to send commands to an ESP8266. You can re-read that story here:

I have experimented a lot with Google Assistant since that time and it is now connected to several ESP's and to my Domoticz home controller.

However in the mean time I have treated myself to a new Phone. It is a Nokia 5. Nokia abandonned Microsoft and is on its own again building great phones like they used to in the old days. Equipped with Android, a large screen (5.2 inch gorilla glass), lots of memory, a reasonably well camera, a large battery and equipped with every possible sensor you can imagine: GPS, WIFI, Bluetooth, Gyro. Next to that it came with Android 7 and is already upgraded to Android 8 !!! And the best part is that it is dead cheap for such a great piece of equipment.

And there is a bonus. Google has activated Google Assistant on the smart phones. You will have to set the default language on your phone to English to achieve that. Just open the Google APP and OK Google will be upgraded to Google Assistant.

All the fun parts are there. The easter eggs, the jokes and everything the normal Assistant can do.

On my phone I have a different Google account as I have on my PC at home. I like to keep these seperated. However I was curious wether the Assistant on my phone could perform the same tricks as my Home Assistant could.

So I opened a new IFTTT account by logging into IFTTT with my phone and my Google account. Next I copied my IFTTT receipes from my home account to my IFTTT account on my phone. The easiest way to do this is to open IFTTT on your PC's browser and log in with your main account. Next open another browser window and log in with the Phone's account. That way you can easily copy recipes from one account to another. You still have to retype them though. But you can just copy and paste the fields.

Nothing was altered on the ESP side of the software so you can use the hardware setup and software without alteration from the story on the Assistant:

When done. Just say OK Google and give the commands and presto !!!

As you can see the Google Assistant on the phone not only listens to spoken commands and answers verbally but it also copies the spoken text's on your phone's screen.


Here is the video showing how it works. Unfortunately something went wrong with the sound but you can see what is happening. The lamp in the hobby room is switched on and off and the led connected to the ESP826 representing the living room light is also switched on and off.

The great part of this is that I now have a stationary Assistant in my hobby room to devellop all kind of things and a mobile assistant to activate everything even from outside my home.

This is FUN !!!!

Try it for yourself. And if you do not have a modern smart phone. Treat yourself to one.

Till Next time

Luc Volders