We wanted to find a way to incorporate the Amazon Echo more seamlessly into everyday life. Then we thought of how outdated the physical key system is and decided to have our own try at modernizing it.
What it does
With Talk Lock, you are able to simulate unlocking a door by giving a passcode. As a user, you are able to preset one of two modes - password mode, which simply prompts you for the password, or the fun and flirty lyric mode, which tosses a random song at you and expects you to complete the missing lyric. With password mode, it is also possible to change the current password after confirming the old password.
How we built it
We focused our design around the Amazon Echo. To get our skill up and running, we made a Lambda function to handle the skill-specific functionality. For the speech input, suggests utterances and answers were set in the skill building interface Amazon provides in its Developer Console.
Challenges we ran into
Originally we had wanted to integrate with a physical locking mechanism. However, we developed the idea for this project rather late in the course of the hackathon and had limited hardware available. Unfortunately, the Spark Core that we rented out was unable to connect to any of the Wi-Fi networks securely, and as a result we were unable to implement this feature.
Additionally, our team has a wide range of experience levels, two of us being seniors in ECE, one a biomedical engineer, and the last in her first CS course. It was challenging dividing up tasks evenly amongst the four of us.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
The Alexa Skill works pretty well! We are especially proud of the lyric mode you can use to unlock the system - it's super random and weird but also incredibly gratifying to hear "access granted" when you get it right.
What we learned
The main thing we learned is how to make an Alexa Skill. Additionally, we learned a lot about what's possible when using an IoT device, even though we weren't able to get it up and running.
What's next for Talk Lock
The main next step would be to put Talk Lock to use by getting Talk Lock working with a physical lock so it. We may also throw in some other fun ways to unlock!