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How to Add Alexa to Your Smart Mirror

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A smart mirror with an Amazon Echo reflected. Josh Hendrickson

If you built a smart mirror, you already have handy access to calendars, weather, and news. But you can do more than that! The Magic Mirror software lets you add modules for extra features, like Alexa for voice control.

Other developers create these modules. The options vary from the useful, like Alexa or presence detection (through a camera or Passive Infrared sensor), to the entertaining, like snowflakes and Spotify playback info.

We recommend mmm-awesome-alexa as it appears to be well maintained by an active developer, although there are other Alexa modules for the Magic Mirror software.

If you would prefer to install Google Assistant, Google offers a complete tutorial for installing Assistant on a Raspberry Pi, including steps, images, and download links. While a few Magic Mirror modules for Google Assistant exist, our investigation revealed the modules to be problematic, often crashing or covering the mirror information. If you want the most straightforward setup, we recommend adding the Google AIY kit and using its specific tutorial.

To install most modules, you’ll go through some basic steps:

  1. Download the module code from GitHub
  2. Configure module-specific options
  3. Add the module to the mirror configuration

Depending on the module, steps two and three may be more or less involved. Setting up Alexa requires more configuration than adding snowflakes, for instance. Additionally, this particular Alexa module requires installing some additional software (dependencies) before downloading the module.

RELATED: How to Build Your Own Futuristic Smart Mirror

The Materials You’ll Need

A Google AIY voice kit

This guide assumes you’ve already created a Smart Mirror. If you haven’t yet, start there but keep in mind the extra materials listed here in your costs and space considerations.

  • Completed Smart Mirror
  • Microphone
  • Speaker

For the microphone and speaker, we recommend the original Google AIY Voice Kit. At $16, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a cheaper microphone and speaker combination. You don’t necessarily need to use the included cardboard box; it may be more effective to leave the components out and run the microphone and speaker outside the mirror.

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