Where can you go if every operator is busy talking?
Would you trust a voice assistant to help you ?
What if we made one that doesn't use the internet?
VAC is a offline voice assistant which respects users' privacy.
We split our project into three tracks: technical, user experience and context.
On a technical level we defined our hardware and the software we use to communicate with the user - Raspberry Pi and Rhasspy.
To enhance the performance we decided to run the Natural Language Processing (RASA) on a more powerful server on the local network. The local network is disconnected from the internet. This way we can take the workload away from the Raspberry Pi to turn it into a Wireless I/O device that works over Wi-Fi.
For the User Experience track, we researched the best ways to give users clear feedback when interacting with the bot. We explored what ethical and privacy considerations to consider while designing an offline assistant.
VAC was designed to educate people on sexual harassment issues and how victims could seek help. It was an example of potential use cases for offline voice assistants in order to emphasise and raise awareness that voice assistants can be designed and built to respect users' privacy.
Full Stack developer
User Experience Researcher