Building a voice assistant for an Ionic Angular app

With Alan AI SDK for Ionic, you can create a voice assistant or chatbot and embed it to your Ionic Angular app. The Alan AI Platform provides you with all the tools and leverages the industry’s best Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR), Spoken Language Understanding (SLU) and Speech Synthesis technologies to quickly build an AI assistant from scratch.

In this tutorial, we will create a simple Ionic app with three tabs. The app users will be able to tap the voice assistant button and give custom voice commands on each tab, and the AI assistant will reply to them.

What you will learn

  • How to add a voice interface to an Ionic Angular app

  • How to write simple voice commands for an Ionic app

What you will need

To go through this tutorial, make sure the following prerequisites are met:

  • You have signed up to Alan AI Studio.

  • You have created a project in Alan AI Studio.

  • The environment for using the Ionic framework is properly set up. For details, see Ionic documentation.


When you sign up to Alan AI Studio, Alan AI adds free interactions to your balance to let you get started. To get additional interactions to your balance, link your Alan AI account with your GitHub account and give stars to Alan AI repositories. For details, see Adding free interactions.

Step 1: Install the Ionic CLI

Run the following command to install the Ionic CLI:

npm install -g ionic


For this tutorial, we do not need the free Ionic Appflow SDK. If the Ionic CLI asks you during the installation process: Install the free Ionic Appflow SDK and connect your app? (y/n), choose no.

Step 2: Create a template Ionic app and run it

We will be using a pre-made app template provided by Alan AI.

  1. Navigate to the folder in which the app will reside and run the following command:

    ionic start myTestIonicAppWithAlanButton tabs
  2. When prompted, select to use the Angular framework:

    Please select the JavaScript framework to use for your new app. To bypass this prompt next time, supply a value for the --type option.
    ? Framework: (Use arrow keys)
    > Angular |
    React   |
  3. Switch to the folder with the app:

    cd myTestIonicAppWithAlanButton
  4. Run the app:

    ionic serve
  5. In the browser, a new window with the app will be opened. Make sure you see the right UI:


Step 3: Install Alan AI SDK for Cordova and Alan AI Web components

We need to add the Alan AI SDK for Cordova component and the Alan AI Web component to the app.

  1. In the app folder, install the Alan AI SDK for Cordova component:

    npm install @alan-ai/cordova-plugin-alan-voice --save
  2. Install the Alan AI Web Component package:

    npm install @alan-ai/alan-button --save

Step 4: Add the Alan AI button to the app

Now we need to update our app to add the Alan AI button to it.

  1. First, we must tell Angular we will be using custom elements in the app. In all modules where we are planning to use custom elements, add CUSTOM_ELEMENTS_SCHEMA. For this tutorial, we will add it to the following files: src/app/app.module.ts and src/app/tabs/tabs.module.ts.

    import {CUSTOM_ELEMENTS_SCHEMA} from '@angular/core';
      schemas: [CUSTOM_ELEMENTS_SCHEMA],
    export class AppModule {}

    see full source

    import {CUSTOM_ELEMENTS_SCHEMA} from '@angular/core';
      schemas: [CUSTOM_ELEMENTS_SCHEMA],
    export class TabsPageModule {}

    see full source

  2. In the src folder, in main.ts import the @alan-button component and call the defineCustomElements(window) method:

    main.ts file
    import {defineCustomElements as alanBtnDefineCustomElements} from '@alan-ai/alan-button/dist/loader';

    see full source

  3. In the src/app folder, in app.component.html add the Alan AI button HTML tag:

    <!--  app.component.html -->
      <alan-button #alanBtnEl alan-key="YOUR_KEY_FROM_ALAN_STUDIO_HERE"></alan-button>
  4. In the Alan AI button HTML tag above, we need to replace YOUR_KEY_FROM_ALAN_STUDIO_HERE with the Alan AI SDK key for our Alan AI Studio project. In Alan AI Studio, at the top of the code editor, click Integrations, copy the code provided in the Alan SDK Key field and paste this code to alan-key.

  5. In the src/app folder, open the app.component.ts file and update it to add the Alan AI button.

    1. At the top of the file, add the import statement for the Alan AI Web Component:

      import '@alan-ai/alan-button';
    2. In the AppComponent class, use @ViewChild to add a reference to the Alan button element:

      @ViewChild('alanBtnEl', {static:false}) alanBtnComponent: ElementRef<HTMLAlanButtonElement>;
    3. Replace the first import statement with the following one:

      import { Component, ElementRef, ViewChild } from '@angular/core';
    4. In the AppComponent class, in the ngAfterViewInit() method, add a listener for the command event. All commands sent from the dialog script will be passed to this method. It’s a place where you can set up logic on how the app will react to the commands from the script.

      ngAfterViewInit() {
        this.alanBtnComponent.nativeElement.addEventListener('command', (data) => {
          const commandData = (<CustomEvent>data).detail;
          if (commandData.command === 'navigation') {
            //call client code that will react to the received command

      see full source

Run the app. On all app tabs, we can see the Alan AI button. Click it and say: Hello.


Step 5. Add voice commands

Let’s add some voice commands so that we can interact with Alan AI. In Alan AI Studio, open the project and in the code editor, add the following intents:

Dialog script
intent(`What is your name?`, p => {`It's Alan, and yours?`);

intent(`How are you doing?`, p => {`Good, thank you. What about you?`);

Now in the app click the Alan AI button and ask: What is your name? and How are you doing? Alan AI will give responses provided in the intents.

What’s next?

You can now proceed to building a voice interface with Alan AI. Use the following resources: