Remember the Arduino-compatible Verbalizer development board for Google Voice Search that we covered recently? Michael Lipton from Breakfast NY has given us four Verbalizer boards to give away to lucky readers.

Out of the box, the Verbalizer connects wirelessly to your computer via Bluetooth and when triggered, opens google.com in a new tab in Chrome and activates Voice Search. An audio notification is played signaling google is ready for your query, which is spoken into the on-board mic. The board is Arduino compatible and we left some I/O pins open, so it’s easy for anyone to jump in and create something nutty with it.

(At the moment, the desktop companion app for the Verbalizer requires Mac OS X 10.6, but you can find the source code for it on Github if you want to try porting it to other platforms.)

To be eligible for this drawing, all you have to do is post a comment telling us why you want a Verbalizer and what project you want to make with it. Eligible entries will end at 11:59 PST, Saturday July 16, 2011. Winners will be announced on Tuesday, July 19 in the comments below. Good luck!

Brian Jepson

Brian Jepson

I’m a tinkerer and finally reached the point where I fix more things than I break. When I’m not tinkering, I’m probably editing a book for Maker Media.


  • http://twitter.com/RajayT Rajay

    I want to google Verbalizer when I am away from desk.

    • Anonymous

      We have our winners! Rajay: you have won a Verbalizer from Breakfast NY. Please send me an email at bjepson AT oreilly dot com, and I’ll contact you to arrange delivery of your Verbalizer.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_WHT43SJ6GMV3QGDVHXKIWHP6GU Brad

    I would like to use the easy button and servos with the Arduino to create a pop up Google Guy for a voice search.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_WHT43SJ6GMV3QGDVHXKIWHP6GU Brad

    I would like to use the easy button and servos with the Arduino to create a pop up Google Guy for a voice search.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1388688459 Lisa Thierbach

    I want to use the Verbalizer to learn how it works. I’m attempting to build a set up that will tell person at the other end of an internet chat/conference call. I want to connect mics to an Arduino and this would be a big building block in my learning curve.

  • Anonymous

    I would like to use it to monitor words spoken in a room, and then maybe display a tag cloud with the frequencies words are spoken

  • Anonymous

    I would like to use it to monitor words spoken in a room, and then maybe display a tag cloud with the frequencies words are spoken

  • http://www.DavidCDean.com David C Dean

    Rather than use it with Google (specifically), I’d like to see about putting it in my living room to handle some basic home automation functions.  I think the bt link would make it infinitely easier to work with.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_T7FJ4U7PK3C6Y2PV4AEU5YT7CI Paul

    I would use my board to port the desktop application to Java for universal compatibility.

  • http://profiles.google.com/tmcarr89 Travis Carr

    I would integrate it into my current AVR based home automation system I’m building. Probably use some simple voice commands for things like lights or maybe locking my computer (screen saver). I also think it would be cool to use it as a security mechanism for sensing noise and logging activity to my PC while I’m gone. 

  • http://twitter.com/wooac wooac

    Voice control a tethered camera.

  • Anonymous

    I’d love to hack on one to see what kind of crazy hijinks I could create @heatsynclabs:twitter! Nothing like voice-activating hackerspace goodness :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/ethan.dicks Ethan Dicks

    I would tie the Verbalizer into an open-source-based information kiosk we rolled out at a recent technology/geek culture/bacon convention (“Ba-con”).  The Oracle, as we called it, already has one Arduino (in the form of a recycled Makerbot Extruder controller) to sense user proximity to flip the lighting scheme of 2 meters of LED strips to herald the user’s approach, and another Arduino running an app and the TVout library to display random and pleasing patterns on a 5″ CRT embedded into the face of the device.

    At the moment, The Oracle uses Xibo, an open-source digital signage package, to display schedule and informational updates and to monitor tweets about the convention.  The Verbalizer would come in handy to provide an hands-free interactive input stream which could allow attendees to ask for “daily schedule” or “exhibit hall hours” or other frequently requested information rather than waiting for what they want to pop up in the rotation.

  • Anonymous

    not googlish, but i’d like to train an ardu-bot into an ardu-dog.  have it listen to voice commands.  come, heel, roll over (spin around), stay, etc.

  • http://twitter.com/BAKup Ben Konosky

    I’m working on a home automation setup, and would want to tie that into it for voice commands, and remote Google searches.

    • Anonymous

      We have our winners! BAKup: you have won a Verbalizer from Breakfast NY. Please send me an email at bjepson AT oreilly dot com, and I’ll contact you to arrange delivery of your Verbalizer.

    • Anonymous

      We have our winners! BAKup: you have won a Verbalizer from Breakfast NY. Please send me an email at bjepson AT oreilly dot com, and I’ll contact you to arrange delivery of your Verbalizer.

  • http://twitter.com/BAKup Ben Konosky

    I’m working on a home automation setup, and would want to tie that into it for voice commands, and remote Google searches.

  • Warren T

    the Verbalizer had me at ‘bananas’. i would like to make a storefront display…

  • http://www.facebook.com/mike.ransom Mike Ransom

    We’re currently coaching some Boy Scouts through the Electronic, Computers and new Robotics merit badges.  This would be a great stimulator to have the boys think of what kind of ‘virtual robot’ they could come up with.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_HJCXILTHTDU4DPLY23HQBUUE4Y OB

    I’m going to open my garage door with it!!!!!

  • http://twitter.com/jwatkins Justin Watkins

    Use a laser tripwire to activate Verbalizer when a co-worker stops by my desk with a question.  Monitor behind me displays results to their question.  Basically a real life version of LMGTFY.com

  • http://twitter.com/jwatkins Justin Watkins

    Use a laser tripwire to activate Verbalizer when a co-worker stops by my desk with a question.  Monitor behind me displays results to their question.  Basically a real life version of LMGTFY.com

  • http://twitter.com/keesplattel Kees Plattel

    Winning this would be an awesome opportunity for me to get it to Europe, since Breakfast doesnt ship them. ;) (They should!)

  • http://twitter.com/keesplattel Kees Plattel

    Winning this would be an awesome opportunity for me to get it to Europe, since Breakfast doesnt ship them. ;) (They should!)

  • http://twitter.com/ressler Ryan

    I have Backyard Movie Nights at my house where I invite the neighbors over and we watch YouTube clips, movies, etc. on the side of my house. It would be great to have a Verbalizer so all of us (young and old) can each take control of Google Image Search and take visual tours of interesting images, great design pieces, etc. etc. etc. I think it would be a lot of fun and a great way to share Verbalizer’s capabilities with friends. Thanks!

  • http://twitter.com/ressler Ryan

    I have Backyard Movie Nights at my house where I invite the neighbors over and we watch YouTube clips, movies, etc. on the side of my house. It would be great to have a Verbalizer so all of us (young and old) can each take control of Google Image Search and take visual tours of interesting images, great design pieces, etc. etc. etc. I think it would be a lot of fun and a great way to share Verbalizer’s capabilities with friends. Thanks!

  • http://twitter.com/ressler Ryan

    I have Backyard Movie Nights at my house where I invite the neighbors over and we watch YouTube clips, movies, etc. on the side of my house. It would be great to have a Verbalizer so all of us (young and old) can each take control of Google Image Search and take visual tours of interesting images, great design pieces, etc. etc. etc. I think it would be a lot of fun and a great way to share Verbalizer’s capabilities with friends. Thanks!

  • http://twitter.com/mattupstate Matt Wright

    Breakfast are making some awesome stuff. Makes me want to learn how to solder. 

  • http://profiles.google.com/andrequirion Andre Quirion

    I’ll probably try to do something else not related to google with the Verbalizer board… just for the fun of it.

  • http://twitter.com/rjduranjr RJ Duran

    I would like to use the verbalizer to automatically look up 3d models of objects (stl files) then have it automatically download and initiate the print sequence of a 3d printer to print the model. While the print process is going there will be a speaker hooked up to generate music based off the movements of the 3d printer via ableton live. 

  • Bixo ESPM

    I made my cat tweet. i´ll love to give it a voice… http://vimeo.com/24579888

  • Bixo ESPM

    I made my cat tweet. i´ll love to give it a voice… http://vimeo.com/24579888

  • http://profiles.google.com/steverobillard Steve Robillard

    I want to win this because I have severe arthritis and really beginning to have problems with my hands. It would be nice to build a project that can help automate some of the things I am having more trouble doing (using a regular mouse for instance). My project would alllow me to control my environment intercom, lights, front door camera and the like.

  • http://profiles.google.com/steverobillard Steve Robillard

    I want to win this because I have severe arthritis and really beginning to have problems with my hands. It would be nice to build a project that can help automate some of the things I am having more trouble doing (using a regular mouse for instance). My project would alllow me to control my environment intercom, lights, front door camera and the like.

  • http://twitter.com/GlennLangton Glenn Langton

    I’d use the Verbalizer to make a “Magic 8-Ball” that polls Google with a spoken question to (hopefully) provide better advice than just a random response!  I’d integrate an accelerometer and lcd readout to give a similar shake-and-display effect as the original.

  • Anonymous

    Automatic porn dispenser. Search term in, use the microcontroller to close the blinds and pop open a box of tissues for cleanup

  • Anonymous

    Automatic porn dispenser. Search term in, use the microcontroller to close the blinds and pop open a box of tissues for cleanup

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=516526418 Jimmy Coyne

    I want to win this because i want to create my own version of J.A.R.V.I.S like Tony Stark has in Iron Man. 
    Basically start with one on my desk that can look up information based on voice search, then have it run in tandem with a basic TTS program that will read off the text aloud. once this functionality is worked out i can add in an english accent and occasional snarky comments for it to repeat. 
    then i add more verbalizers and wireless speakers around my house to get the full effect.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_MQYNJBLUVY65GSVLLWWLQG5LMA John

    Wouldn’t it be cool to have a voice controlled RepRap?

    It could respond to LOGO/Turtle Graphics language commands.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jay-Hawthorne/100001035498814 Jay Hawthorne

    I would really love to experiment with it to see what can be done to help the disabled. Being disabled myself, I see many possibilities that it might be used for. 

  • Anonymous

    I already have a few network microcontrollers doing various tasks around my house. I’m just about to move in with another techie friend and he’s got a Kinect + SDK setup. It would be fun to integrate this with the Kinect + Automation + Google results for various commands.

    Immediate ideas that come to mind are being able to wakup, ask Verbalizer/Google what the Weather is like. Have it display news/traffic/searchable terms (my Google account knows where I live to pull this data automagically) and “follow me” around as I’m getting ready. User tracking could use the Kinect and/or Bluetooth triangulation to change speaker and/or video output. We already have a ton of monitors and PCs laying around, so it wouldn’t be hard to get them all linked.

    As I’m sure most of the staff @ Make already know, the best ideas come while you’re actually playing with the hardware and troubleshooting or testing other issues. These ‘Eureka!’ moments have defined our technologies of the past and will continue to be the basis of innovation for some time to come. This is what makes the “home hacker” community so interesting; anybody can have that Eureka moment. :-)

  • http://justin.gasal.myopenid.com/ Justin

    I’d use it to control motorized blinds in my bedroom!

  • http://justin.gasal.myopenid.com/ Justin

    I’d use it to control motorized blinds in my bedroom!

  • http://justin.gasal.myopenid.com/ Justin

    I’d use it to control motorized blinds in my bedroom!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000459610811 Jeremiah Walters

    I just want to understand it, work with it and let my creative mind come up with a use that is new and innovative. besides i don’t want anyone stealing my ideas by posting it on here. ALL YOUR SEARCH TERMS ARE BELONG TO ME!! muahahah

  • http://3a2d29.com/ Colin Faulkingham

    I would like to make an add-on that display’s the search term on a 16×2 Serial LCD see http://www.sparkfun.com/products/9395. To do this I would hook into Google speech api which is used by Chrome to convert speech into text. This link has a good explanation of how the API works. See, http://goo.gl/pxuR4 It returns a JSON file which can then be parsed to get the text of the search term.

    I would also need to use the CoreAudio lib to record and encode the audio into the flac for more info see http://sourceforge.net/projects/coreaudio-flac/

  • http://3a2d29.com/ Colin Faulkingham

    I would like to make an add-on that display’s the search term on a 16×2 Serial LCD see http://www.sparkfun.com/products/9395. To do this I would hook into Google speech api which is used by Chrome to convert speech into text. This link has a good explanation of how the API works. See, http://goo.gl/pxuR4 It returns a JSON file which can then be parsed to get the text of the search term.

    I would also need to use the CoreAudio lib to record and encode the audio into the flac for more info see http://sourceforge.net/projects/coreaudio-flac/

  • http://profiles.google.com/jasonlshelton Jason Shelton

    Aw, come on. Touch sensor, bluetooth, voice commands….. I’m making me a Star Trek Communicator pin!

  • http://twitter.com/vvillovv willow

    As an animal translator. I’d place various animals infront of it and see how google translated their noises.

  • http://elkosmas.gr Eleftherios Kosmas

    I would use it as a voice control for automations in the Athens hackerspace.Like controling a retractable projector rack and lights, and as a gadget to control a second projector when people are giving presentation for workshops, coding dojos, etc

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=749036973 Daniel Gentleman

    I’d love to build a robot with a compass that parsed a map location with a direction. Yell “Go to Tokyo!” and it would start driving west!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=749036973 Daniel Gentleman

    I’d love to build a robot with a compass that parsed a map location with a direction. Yell “Go to Tokyo!” and it would start driving west!

  • http://twitter.com/NansensCat Carl Varady

    Working with autistic kids at school to show them real time results for spoken words.  Many of them enjoy working with computers but are limited to menus/programs.  This would be open to so many different language based interactions.

  • Anonymous

    Sci-Fi like computer search engine. “Computer…display nearest class M planet”

    • Anonymous

      We have our winners! GeorgeTheMac: you have won a Verbalizer from Breakfast NY. Please send me an email at bjepson AT oreilly dot com, and I’ll contact you to arrange delivery of your Verbalizer.

    • Anonymous

      We have our winners! GeorgeTheMac: you have won a Verbalizer from Breakfast NY. Please send me an email at bjepson AT oreilly dot com, and I’ll contact you to arrange delivery of your Verbalizer.

  • http://twitter.com/georgebrindeiro George Brindeiro

    robot dog, where I would be able to call him and ask him to do things.
    basic platform is done, I just need to get the audio working!

  • http://www.facebook.com/frederic.boivin2 Frédéric Boivin

    A voice analyzer lock or a voice controlled, network connected, RFID enabled vending machine that keeps record of your account and sales on a computer program (with a UI that looks likes the WIRED charts! :D ). That would be for our Electrical Engineering student association room, because we NEED to keep track of the food and drink sales!

  • http://www.facebook.com/frederic.boivin2 Frédéric Boivin

    A voice analyzer lock or a voice controlled, network connected, RFID enabled vending machine that keeps record of your account and sales on a computer program (with a UI that looks likes the WIRED charts! :D ). That would be for our Electrical Engineering student association room, because we NEED to keep track of the food and drink sales!

  • http://twitter.com/sector67 Sector67

    Voice activated hackerspace – what more could you do? :-)

  • http://twitter.com/sector67 Sector67

    Voice activated hackerspace – what more could you do? :-)

  • http://www.web2voice.com/ roschler

    I want to voice enable my cat so I can use him to search Google.  Just kidding.  I’d never force a cat to deal with the Internet.  But I would like to use it to augment a voice controlled robot to augment his performance with images and sounds from Google searches.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1015768234 Dale Herzog

    Home shop work reference system.  I’m always having to carry around a second set of sketches because I know I either have to get them dirty when I’m working on things or go through the trouble of washing up to get another piece of information.  I could set this up with a sealed Beagle board that has wireless internet and a magnetic wall/table mount on the back and never have to worry about hurting my computer or not having my design info handy again!

  • http://twitter.com/vvillovv willow

    I would use it as an animal translator and place various animals in front of it and see how google interprets their sounds. 

  • http://twitter.com/vvillovv willow

    I would use it as an animal translator and place various animals in front of it and see how google interprets their sounds. 

  • http://twitter.com/billiamthe2nd billiamthe2nd

    I would love to make a working HAL-9000

  • Anonymous

    Ultimate argument settler :

    Clap to active, tell what argument you want to settle, search wiki for it, have it speak back the introduction.

  • Anonymous

    Ultimate argument settler :

    Clap to active, tell what argument you want to settle, search wiki for it, have it speak back the introduction.

  • Anonymous

    Ultimate argument settler :

    Clap to active, tell what argument you want to settle, search wiki for it, have it speak back the introduction.

  • Zach Grossi

    diy in-car voice activated calling, music control, and navigation for my car pc 

  • Anonymous

    Hah, cute PCB! I’d like to try setting this up with a display or laptop in my kitchen, with the basic functionality of being able to search for recipes hands-free. Then I’d start developing tools for use in the cooking process, such as voice-set timers or measurement conversions. No more floury keyboard!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Gerard-Farnham/637477212 Gerard Farnham

    I am very patient – I saw the end of a film in 1982 that I really liked on TV (Goodnight paradise – Australian Film) and waited and waited, and finally in was on TV last year in 2010 (28 years). I recorded it – then my Satelite box broke and I lost it again..
    Anyways, Since 1986 I’ve been waiting for the scene in Star Trek IV The Voyage Home when Scotty goes to the Aluminum manufacturer and tries talking to a computer, then the mouse, to become reality. AND IT HAS! and thats only 25 years! things are getting better and better every day!

  • Anonymous

    I would combine the verbalizer with an arduino and Scratch to create an assortment of gadgets with my 11 y/o son. He has started to work on Scratch projects and this would be a fantastic introduction to physical computing. We could take it and create a visual display of your voice on a display.

  • Anonymous

    I would combine the verbalizer with an arduino and Scratch to create an assortment of gadgets with my 11 y/o son. He has started to work on Scratch projects and this would be a fantastic introduction to physical computing. We could take it and create a visual display of your voice on a display.

  • http://twitter.com/tinyenormous tinyenormous

    I’d set it up so that it can tell pandora “next” when I want it to. I will never have to hear that ukelele version of somewhere over the rainbow again. That song has infected my playlists like herpes.

    • Anonymous

      We have our winners! tinyenormous: you have won a Verbalizer from Breakfast NY. Please send me an email at bjepson AT oreilly dot com, and I’ll contact you to arrange delivery of your Verbalizer.

  • Anonymous

    I need that to do my science!

  • Anonymous

    I need that to do my science!

  • Anonymous

    Yay! I made the deadline! What do I win?

  • Anonymous

    Yay! I made the deadline! What do I win?

  • Anonymous

    We have our winners! tinyenormous, BAKup, Rajay, and GeorgeTheMac, you have each won a Verbalizer from Breakfast NY. Please send me an email at bjepson AT oreilly dot com, and I’ll contact you to arrange delivery of your Verbalizer.

  • bleik urrego

    I’d integrate this with an Arduino board use the voice recognition google has to offer and make a split-flap display. To display me what I would like for example I would say Time or Temperature and the voice recognition would process that get the required information and ‘print’ it on the split-flap display. 
    Is this possible?