“Project Alias is designed as a completely open-source hardware/software solution for a world where big corporations have the ability to listen to us all the time. The hardware is a plug-powered microphone/speaker unit that can sit on top of your smart speaker of choice. It’s powered by a pretty typical raspberry pie chipset, the tool of choice for homebrew electronics aficionados.
The speaker sounds like a white noise machine to the assistant, covering your speech with an inaudible, omnipresent static. That is, until the software side comes into play. You can train the Alias through local machine learning (no cloud here!) to learn how to wake the assistant to a unique keyword, disabling the static.
The Google Assistant makes you call it “Google.” The Echo makes you call it “Computer,” “Amazon,” or “Alexa.” So instead of talking to something you own, you’re talking to a brand. Alias lets you train it to recognize “Hey Jim” or “Pizza party!” or whatever else you imagine.”