Hacker Makes His Amazon Echo A Car Starter

This is a feature Amazon should offer

Echo In Passenger Seat

Echo In Passenger Seat

Not a recommended copilot.Screenshot by author, from YouTube

Amazon Echo is an interface in search of a use. When it was first released, the web-connected, voice-activated tower was a lot like a telephone with just the local operator on the other side. As more web-connected household devices have worked with Echo, the tool transformed from a curiosity to the central node in an online house. In a five-part blog series, YouTuber jryanishere explains how he made it so his Echo could remotely start his car.

Besides the Echo, jryanishere used a Raspberry Pi computer, some code, and a link to the car's own network--plus a lot of coding and some guesswork. Here's how he describes a particularly frustrating part of the project:

I’d like to say this is where I started to investigate writing a Python script to do everything fast enough for me, nope. Imagine me sitting in my driver’s seat with my laptop on my lap and a list of commands printed next to me in the order they needed to be typed. Imagining? Good. Now, imagine me typing as quick as I can trying to beat the 3 second timer, for 20 minutes straight, growing increasingly frustrated. Now imagine me throwing my laptop on my passenger seat and running into my house pissed as shit. Ok? Done laughing? Joke’s on you, I got it to work by hand. Let’s move on to the Python script.

The end result? A car that starts on voice command, which is a helpful thing during the winter when no one wants to actually sit in a warming car until it’s ready to drive. A fascinating, if frustrating, DIY project of unclear legality for now. Likely a selling point for Echo in the future, once Amazon and the car companies have it figured out.

Watch below:

[via Gizmodo]