It’s amazing how a company can spend a fortune on researching and developing a product, and eventually someone finds a way to make the same thing for far less. Amazon’s Echo has been out for a while now, but it still costs $180 for you to get your hands on one. But what if I told you that you could make your own at home for just $60?
It’s completely possible to make your own Echo-like device using a Raspberry Pi (Model 2) a microSD card, a mic, and an ethernet cable. The plans for constructing the contraption are all up on GitHub. What’s interesting is that Amazon was the one who provided all of the materials you’ll need to get your device up and running.
While it might seem a bit surprising at first to see that Amazon is telling you how to make their product at roughly 1/3 of the cost. However, when you think about the fact that they’re really wanting you to use Echo to easily purchase items from them. So when you choose to not buy an Echo, and build one at a lesser cost, you’re still going to be using it to shop with them in the future.
There is one small limitation of the homemade Echo. Due to the Alexa Voice Services terms, your device can’t be always listening. You’ll need to have some method for triggering it to listen, either via app, or with some sort of physical button. For some people, this might be a benefit, as they don’t want a device constantly listening to their chatter. For others, it might be an annoyance that leads them to just purchasing an Echo.