Cortana is the competent and sometimes pesky personal assistant that Microsoft wants to be the Alfred to your Batman.
The assistant made “her” debut as part of Windows Phone 8.1, and has since found a home on hundreds of millions of Windows 10 devices, and even on Android and iOS. Her reach further expanded as Microsoft launched Cortana to assist on the Xbox One, track your health on the Microsoft Band, and also control meetings with the Surface Hub. So, what’s next?
During a WinHec session, Microsoft revealed that Cortana will be coming to a new range of hardware - specifically, IoT (Internet of Things) devices with screens - as part of the Creators Update. It may sound rather vague, which may be the point as at this stage no new devices have been revealed by manufacturers.
Almost any device that is powered by Windows 10 IoT Core will be able to utilize the assistant. During the WinHec session, Microsoft detailed far-field voice support that is coming with the Creators Update. This new feature will allow Cortana to be activated within a distance of 13 feet despite ambient noise. Perhaps this may prove useful with Microsoft’s Project Evo – the Redmond giant’s competitor technology to take on Amazon Echo and Google Home. Microsoft also announced a new “Wake on Voice” feature that will allow Cortana to wake a device from a standby state.
Many users outside of Cortana’s availability may be disappointed that the assistant has not yet made her way to their country. However, just how useful Cortana is outside of the US is up for debate. How convenient the assistant might be on your smart fridge or toaster also remains to be seen. One can imagine a large user base will have to set their internet-enabled toasters to the US region to get Cortana to work.
The Creators Update for Windows 10 is shaping up to be quite the interesting upgrade.