Johan Janssen | Devoxx

Johan Janssen
Johan Janssen Twitter

From Info Support

Johan is working as a Java architect, trainer and competence center Java lead at Info Support. He has been working for various demanding companies where rapidly delivering quality software was very important. He likes sharing his knowledge about Java, continuous delivery, DevOps, IoT, software quality and numerous other subjects. Johan regularly writes articles and gives presentations about those subject for instance at Devoxx BE/UK, JavaOne, J-Fall, Jfokus, JAX, various Voxxed events, JavaLand, Scala Days Berlin/New York, GeeCON, JBCNConf, Java Forum Nord, Coding Serbia, Javantura, JavaCro and ConFESS.


iot IoT

Welcome Alexa, your personal assistant


What if you’re eating and having a discussion about a certain topic? Searching on your phone would mean your food gets cold. Or what if you’re lying on the couch without your phone and you want to control the lights?

Welcome Alexa, your new personal assistant. Alexa is a voice service, it will respond to your questions and execute tasks. You can for instance ask Alexa for the weather, or ask her to play a certain radio station.

In this presentation I will show you how to create your own Alexa device. The setup uses a Raspberry Pi, microphone, speaker and a Java application. I will compare the custom setup with the Echo device Amazon is selling. Next to that I will show you how to integrate Alexa in your home automation setup for instance with openHAB. That way you can control your lights and everything else with your voice. Last but not least I will show you how to create your own skills in Java to add functionality to Alexa. A demo with a custom Skill running serverless in AWS Lambda is included as well.

Speaker Q&A

Who should attend your session?

If you're interested in voice recognition and/or serverless computing with AWS Lambda and want to learn how to get started then this is your session. I will tell you all about using the Amazon Echo Dot and a Raspberry Pi with Amazon's Alexa voice recognition and extending the functionality with (custom) Java applications. Next to that I will also show you how to integrate Alexa with OpenHAB for home automation.

What are the 'next steps' for an attendee to take after attending your session?

After the session you're able to get started and setup your own home with voice recognition. It's possible to use the setup to control your home automation or anything else. You can even create your own features based on the examples I will show during the session.

Who is your favourite British fictional character?

...The first one that pops into my mind is Gimli.

What is Alexa capable of?

Basically it's a voice recognition service with a platform that enables you to say something and then Alexa will answer your question or execute a task such as adding something to a TODO list or controlling your home automation.

Is it easy to integrate Alexa into other devices?

It's easy to integrate Alexa with almost anything. There are a lot of skills available that let you integrate Alexa with other software or devices. Next to that you can use IFTTT to couple Alexa to all kinds of things. If there is nothing out there yet that you can use then it's also possible to create your own skills (functionality) for Alexa. The skills can be created in many programming language, for instance in Java.

You can even use the Alexa voice recognition service on a Raspberry Pi by using an open source Java project from Amazon.