The new voice assistants like Siri, Cortana, Alexa, and Google (itself?) are becoming more and more ubiquitous as we race toward a "Star Trek"-style omnipresent computing interface, but what if you don't like invoking the name of your chosen corporate overlord when you use the assistant's features? What if you could speak "Okay, Computer" into an Apple mouse like Scotty did? In this video, I'll show you how to set up a custom wake word with your voice assistant using a platform called "Snowboy".





Snowboy GitHub

GassistPi GitHub

How To Set Up Snowboy On Raspberry Pi:

Install the Sox, PortAudio, and PyAudio dependencies

sudo apt-get install python-pyaudio python3-pyaudio sox
pip install pyaudio



Install Swig by compiling from source

tar -xvf swig-3.0.10.tar.gz
sudo apt-get install libpcre3 libpcre3-dev
cd swig-3.0.10
./configure --prefix=/usr   \ 
   --without-clisp   \ 
   --without-maximum-compile-warnings &&
make install &&
 install -v -m755 -d /usr/share/doc/swig-3.0.10 &&
 cp -v -R Doc/* /usr/share/doc/swig-3.0.10


Install the Atlas library

sudo apt-get install libatlas-base-dev



Verify audio recording and playback work

arecord -f cd -d 5 test.wavaplay test.wav


Clone the Snowboy repo


Compile the Snowboy Python wrapper

cd snowboy/swig/Python



Run the Snowboy demo with the "Snowboy" wake word

cd snowboy/src/examples/Python
python /home/pi/snowboy/resources/models/snowboy.umdl

How To Set Up GassistPi On Google AIY:

Clone the GassistPi repo

git clone



Install the AIY hat configuration

sudo chmod +x ./GassistPi/audio-drivers/AIY-HAT/scripts/
sudo ./GassistPi/audio-drivers/AIY-HAT/scripts/
sudo reboot now

sudo chmod +x ./GassistPi/audio-drivers/AIY-HAT/scripts/
sudo ./GassistPi/audio-drivers/AIY-HAT/scripts/


Confirm that your audio still works

speaker-test -t wav


From here, you're going to use the credentials as well as the project and device IDs created when you first set up the Google AIY kit. Refer to the other guides in this project if you haven't gotten this far yet.


Run the installer script (this will take a while)

sudo chmod +x ./GassistPi/scripts/
sudo ./GassistPi/scripts/


As the script finishes, you will be presented with a unique URL for authentication. Copy that URL into a browser, sign in to Google, copy the authentication code, and paste that at the prompt in the terminal. You can now run Google Assistant via GassistPi which allows intricate customization options as well as custom wake words via Snowboy. Configure these options by using a text editor with ~/GassistPi/src/config.yaml


Run Google Assistant with the following command:

/home/${USER}/env/bin/python -u /home/${USER}/GassistPi/src/ --project_id [your project ID] --device_model_id [your device ID]