With the rise of Amazon Echo and Google Home, one company that has been conspicuously absent from this space, despite rumors suggesting otherwise, is Microsoft. However, a new report suggests that the company might have a digital home assistant play after all, with Cortana no less.
A new discovery from Windows Central points to a Windows feature, Cortana speaker, that when opened offers graphics reminiscent of a connected home speaker setup like Amazon's Echo. Interestingly, the text on the new 'devices' tab reads "Set up your new Cortana speaker" and also offers a "Buy Now" button that leads you to Microsoft's home page, along with a tutorial that directs you to a non-existing app. We already know that Harman Kardon is working on an Echo-like home speaker which will be powered by Cortana, and this newly discovered feature with Microsoft utilzing its digital assistant as the central part of its home automation initiative could be a big move for the firm.
We have seen examples of the company branching out Cortana's capabilities by offering it as a cross-platform tool, being integrated into cars, and IoT devices. Developers can also take advantage of the virtual assistant's capabilities by integrating it into their applications and hardware with the help of Cortana Skills Kit.
This might also tie into the company's Home Hub project which it plans to release this year. With a rumored spring event still on the table, Microsoft may surprise us with other speakers that employ this technology or maybe just a tease at BUILD next month.
Source: Windows Central