Hacker jury rigs Amazon Echo into voice-controlled remote start

A lot of automakers have smartphone apps to start, lock, or unlock a connected car. Some automakers will even let you do that with a smartwatch. Then, there's YouTube user Jryanishere, who decided to use Amazon's chatty Echo voice-controlled, internet-connected information thingy. Yes, we said thingy, because we aren't really sure how else to describe the Echo.

While the Echo system has received a hearty ad campaign – featuring Alec Baldwin asking Amazon's virtual assistant, Alexa, questions and ordering socks – we think this might be the first really useful thing we've seen it do. Using a MacBook, a Raspberry Pi, an Echo, an OBDLink plug-in, and his 4G LTE-equipped GMC, Jryanishere has basically made a voice-controlled remote-start system. Now, like so many voice-controlled things, this strikes us more of an extravagance than something that's functionally worthwhile. After all, the remote start on the a GMC keyfob isn't exactly rocket science.

You can check out the Echo in action up top. Jryanishere gives a pretty thorough breakdown of how the setup works in the video above, but if you're at all into this sort of technological mischief, you'll want to watch (and check out the hilariously detailed blog explaining the job).

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