Boondock Echo is A Two-Way Radio with AI and Keyword Alert Features
The Boondock Echo is an internet-backed, two-way radio attachment with advanced features like recording, playback, denoise, transcribing, and translation. Additionally, it offers keyword-based notifications, enhancing communication efficiency and monitoring.
Boondock Echo connects to a radio, transmitting and storing audio on the cloud for transcription. You can now set alerts on these transcripted keywords through the web interface.
The box of Boondock Echo measures 120x90x30mm. In the box, you will find the device itself along with a K-type two-pin cable, and a 3.5mm audio jack. There is a power switch on one side, with a MicroSD slot and USB port on the other side of the device. In the front, we have Push-to-Talk (PTT) and volume buttons. And finally, three multicolor LEDs indicate the Wi-Fi, audio, and device status.
Setting up the Boondock Echo is fairly easy. First, you need to connect it to Wi-Fi using your credentials. You can add several Wi-Fi networks for redundancy. Once you are done setting up Wi-Fi you can access many settings through the web interface of the device. In the web interface, there is a feature that lets you know the Wi-Fi status through voice messages.
The device contains two boards: a main board with an ESP32-A1S module and a smaller Boondock Audio Kit Sidekick board, connected to the external K-type cable and 3.5mm audio-out interfaces.
To listen to a channel, you have to set the frequency manually on the radio itself. The Boondock Echo can only enable the push-to-talk feature and send a pre-saved message button. There is also an option in the web interface t disable this feature completely to avoid accidental messages. All these features are good but it has a minor flow, If you want to listen to different frequencies, you’ll need more than one Boondock Echo device.
Key Features of Boondock Echo
- Audio Recording & Transmission: Records and transmits audio via connected radios.
- Cloud Accessibility: Stores and accesses recordings on the cloud.
- Remote Control: Manages settings like volume and recording remotely via the cloud.
- Cloud-to-Radio Transmission: Sends audio from the cloud to the radio, including uploaded files.
- Automated Transcription: Transcribes recordings on the cloud using AI.
- Audio Enhancement: Improves recording quality with AI technology.
- Scheduling & Triggers: Schedules recording sessions and sets keyword-based triggers.
- Station Management: Manages multiple radio stations as cloud presets.
- Dockpack Linking: Connects multiple devices for comprehensive audio monitoring.
- On-Device Playback: Plays audio directly from the device or via the cloud.
- Long-Term Archival: Stores radio frequency audio for extended periods.
- Favorites Marking: Marks important audio messages for easy retrieval.
- Real-World Compatibility: Tested with Baofeng UV-5R+ radio, covering 136-174 MHz and 400-480MHz frequency ranges.
- Impressive Transcription Quality: Utilizes OpenAI for high-quality transcription in challenging conditions.
- Future Expansions: Aims to support services like IFFT for varied notifications.
- Open Source: Hardware and on-device software are open-sourced, and available on GitHub.
Boondock Echo can be used for monitoring emergency frequencies for specific keywords or tracking amateur radio nets for call signs.
At the time of writing this article, the pricing details are still pending, but some sources believe that it will include a hardware cost along with a cloud subscription cost. The device is open-sourced so all the hardware and software are available on GitHub.
For more updates, you can check out the Boondock Crowd Supply page and subscribe.
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