New Google AIY Kits makes starting a lot easier

Google’s 2018 versions of the AIY Voice Kit and AIY Vision Kit

Google’s 2018 versions of the AIY Voice Kit and AIY Vision Kit

The Vision Kit also comes with the necessary RPi Camera 2.

Users who want to be notified about the availability of the do-it-yourself AI products can sign up to Google's AIY Projects mailing list for updates. The Voice Kit ($50) still lets you build your own smart speaker with voice recognition done by Google Assistant and answers given back through the speaker.

As part of the announcement, Google has also introduced an AIY companion app for Android, available in the Google Play store, to make wireless setup and configuration easier.

Both of the kits come bundled with a Raspberry Pi Zero WH board and a pre-provisioned SD card, while the Vision Kit also includes a Raspberry Pi Camera v2.

The new AIY Voice Kit and Vision Kit will arrive at Target Stores and this month in the USA and will be available globally through retailers worldwide later in the year, Google said. The chip enables visual perception processing at up to 30 frames per second.

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As you can see, the re-packaged kits are pretty slick looking, with all the bits and pieces you could need to get up and running.

The new AIY Voice Kit, appears to include the same Voice Bonnet HAT and Voice HAT Stereo Microphone boards.

Once put together, Vision becomes a rudimentary computer vision device, able to correctly identify objects that are placed in front of it, and Voice becomes a rudimentary smart speaker. Of course, AI is a complex and complicated subject, but Google's AIY kits could provide a gentler first contact with what the technology can do to make lives easier or, at the very least, more interesting. The new kit appears to include the same 4-ohm speaker, wires, micro-switch, and arcade button. Alternatively, the kits still work with a monitor, keyboard, and mouse. Companion apps for iOS and Chrome are promised to come soon.

The AIY website has been updated with improved documentation, which makes it "easier for young makers to get started and learn as they build", says Google. In addition, developers can turn to a special AIY Projects site.

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