There is a new player in town; Snips.
From my initial understanding, it seems a lot like Zanzito but runs on Raspberry Pi.
The similarities are…
- Uses MQTT to communicate
- Can do speech recognition
- Works without internet (except voice command. zanzito still needs internet for voice command to work).
However these are the pros and cons of Snips when compare to Zanzito.
- STT done locally. Doesn’t need internet to work
- The statistic looks promising (I haven’t personally try it out yet)
- Can teach it to understand more complicated voice commands like “Brew me a strong cappuccino with skimmed milk and three extra sugars”
- Can use any USB microphones that is supported by RPi (better hardware choices)
- Doesn’t seem to have option to choose which TTS engine or what voice to use.
- Custom hot word detection not yet supported.
- Cannot use existing MQTT broker yet. Must use built in broker at the moment.
- More complicated to install compare to Zanzito.
- Bluetooth speaker support in RPi is hit and miss.
- RPi cannot work during power outage unless plug in to UPS (costly). Android phones or tablet already comes with battery that can work very long during power outage.
While I love Zanzito for its simplicity, generally I think Snips is more proper replacement for Alexa if the cons I listed here are addressed. What I foresee is Zanzito will remain the best companion in my Android phone but Snips might take the spot once taken by my Echo dots.
So what do you guys think?