Do you want to have a privacy-preserving virtual assistant in your smart home that doesn’t send everything about you in the cloud? An assistant that cares about your privacy and it is open sourced ( and I’m talking about you Alexa, Siri and Google). In this video tutorial I will show you one it is called Almond, it is created by Stanford University and it integrates great with Home Assistant. Watch my Almond integration with Home Assistant video below.

You may wonder what Almond is? This is the first open-source, social virtual assistant that can be run on local devices to protect privacy. Among other things, Almond allows you to control Home Assistant using natural language. Once installed, it will be available on Home Assistant web Interface via the microphone icon.

An image showing where is the microphone icon in Home Assistant web interface
Home Assistant Microphone icon

Requirements:

To complete this tutorial you will need 

  • A smashed subscribe button or at least comment this article below 
  • And working Home Assistant and docker client

I’m using MacOS but you can follow the same steps with Linux or Windows.

Implementation

With that being said let’s try Almond in our Smart Home

To install Almond you need a working docker client and to execute the following comand in terminal/command prompt:

docker run -p 3000:3000 \
  -v $HOME/.almond-server:/var/lib/almond-server \
  stanfordoval/almond-server:latest-portable

When you execute this command, you will download, install & run the Almond Server on the device that the command is run. You can then access the Almond Server by opening the following URL:

YOUR_DEVICE_IP:3000 

After you open the Almond Web Interface you have to create a password.

Hey, if you are still reading – consider subscribing to my newsletter, now let’s continue

Home Assistant – Installation

Now it’s time to configure our Home Assistant to use Almond. I will run Home Assistant from scratch using Docker, but of course if you already have a working Home Assistant you can use it. Make sure that your Home Assistant version is 0.102.x or higher   

Open a new terminal/command prompt and type the following command:

docker run -p 8123:8123 --name homeassistant homeassistant/home-assistant:latest

After the above command finish successfully, you can try to open the Home Assistant web interface by typing the following URL:

YOUR_DEVICE_IP:8123

Enter your Name, Username, Password, Location, Time Zone etc. to complete the initial configuration of Home Assistant

Almond integration with Home Assistant

Next, you have to edit the Home Assistant configuration a bit. The file that you have to change is called configuration.yaml and it can be located inside the Home Assistant Docker container. To enter inside the container enter the following command:

docker exec -it homeassistant /bin/bash

after that, edit the configuration.yaml file and add the following configuration inside (be careful with the exact indentation – it is very important for the YAML files):

# For Example you can LIKE my video :)
almond:
type: local
host: http://YOUR_ALMOND_SERVER_IP:3000

You have to restart Home Assistant when you finish with editing the configuration.yaml file. And after the restart you have to see the Microphone Icon in the upper right corner of Home Assistant home page.

HASS.IO Almond installation

To install Almond Server on Hass.io, go to Hass.io App Store, search for Almond and click on Install. Once started, it will initiate a config flow to finish set up in Home Assistant. You can find it on the integrations page in the configuration panel.

Almond and Home Assistant Automations

Moreover, you can also play around with the Automations in Home Assistant that are now Powered by Almond from Stanford. If you manage to make them work end to end – then please tell me how you did it in the comments bellow.

Support my work

Any sort of engagement on this channel does really help out a lot with the YouTube algorithm. So make sure you hit the subscribe, Like and Bell buttons If you enjoy this video. Also feel free to add me on Twitter. I post there pretty much daily. I’m also messing around with TikTok just for fun. If you are there come and say hi.

I hope that you find this tutorial useful and you have working Almond in your Home Assistant at the moment.

Above all You should definitely stay tuned for the other tutorials that are coming up. 

Thank you for reading, stay safe and see you next time.


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