Alias is an always-listening speaker that shuts down Amazon Alexa and Google Home during your private conversations. The open-source ‘teachable’ parasite can be trained to take control of your home assistant. Tellart designer Bjørn Karmann and Topp designer Tore Knudsen are the brilliant minds behind this experimental project.
The parasitic fungus (as its developers describe it) latches onto a Google Home or Amazon Alexa device and takes control of their strengths for its own purposes. It effectively deafens the IoT home assistant when you don’t want it listening, and brings it to life when you do. When Alias hears its own wake word it cuts the white noise and wakes up the home assistant for you to use it as normal.
The gadget Alias connects to the Internet only during the initial set up process. It simply means, your conversations are never leaving the device. It acts as a gatekeeper between you and big corporations like Amazon and Google, who have got the ability to listen to us all the time.
Project Alias is a hardware/software solution. The hardware is a plug-powered microphone/speaker powered by a pretty typical Raspberry Pi chipset, where it sits on top of the assistant and broadcasts white noise to it covering your speech. Using its software part, through local machine learning, you can train the gadget to learn how to wake the assistant to custom wake-up names.
The developers are looking forward to working together with those who would want to invest in the unfinished project.