Build your own smart speaker or camera with Google’s AIY Projects kits [Sticky or Not]

If you’re a frequent MobileSyrup‘s reader, you’ll know we’re big fans of do-it-yourself maker kits. There’s just something rad about products that encourage consumers to interact with technology in a way that’s both educational and practical.

So it should come as no surprise that we’ve decided to feature Google’s new AIY Projects kits.

Announced earlier this week, AIY Projects kits allow DIY-savvy consumers to experience Google’s recent advancements in artificial intelligence on their own terms.

AIY Projects Voice Kit

“With our maker kits, build intelligent devices that see, speak, and understand,” writes the company. “Then start tinkering. Take things apart, make things better. See what problems you can solve.”

At the moment, there are two available kits.

The first of the two, Voice Kit, priced at $50 USD, allows consumers to build their own Google Assistant-powered speaker. Just like Google Home, the resulting device allows users to converse with the company’s voice-activated assistant and ask it questions.

Meanwhile, the second one, Vision Kit, priced at $90 USD, allows one to build a smart camera. Once assembled, the device is capable of recognizing people, emotions and objects, all thanks to the power of Google’s neural networks.

AIY Projects Vision Kit

Setting up any one of the kits is easy. Users can either hop on their computer or take advantage of the companion Android app. Both kits also ship with a Raspberry Pi Zero, making them far more versatile than

At the moment, both the AIY Voice Kit and Vision Kit are only available in the U.S. via Target. However, Google says it’s working with retailers globally to bring the kits to other markets.

Verdict: Sticky

Several years ago, I interviewed Toronto’s Heather Payne. At the time, Payne had just started Ladies Learning Code, an organization that teaches women of all ages how to code. Something Payne said to me then has stuck with me ever since.

Essentially, one of the reasons she’s devoted her life to creating organizations that is that she believes far too many of us simply just consume technology instead of also creating with it.

The moment you understand the tools we take for granted every day is transformative. Understandably, not everyone is interested in making their own smart speaker or camera, but for those who are, these seem like great options.

This post is part of an ongoing series titled Sticky or Not in which news and telecom editor Rose Behar (and sometimes features editor Igor Bonifacic) analyze new and often bizarre gadgets, rating them sticky (good) or not (bad).

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