In January, it was revealed that Cortana was being disabled by default in some editions of Windows 10. Although the reasons for this removal likely had nothing to do with how the digital assistant is faring in general, Microsoft has looked to redesign it to bring it more in line with productivity needs, as opposed to more personal use.
Near the end of last year, the tech giant patented a way of handling silent voice commands for the voice assistant. Now, a patent recently filed by Microsoft concerning digital assistant voice input integration with third-party applications has been published. Although Cortana is already integrated with many third-party apps, the described mechanism will specifically aim to map its native voice to various applications for a variety of use cases.
Microsoft wants more extensibility clients to be included with voice assistants that enable integration with third-party apps, allowing user experiences in such apps to be rendered using the native voice of the digital assistant. The company also feels that a streamlined implementation of such a system would help avoid transition delays, as only a single voice will be utilized.
Applications functioning in an interoperable environment such as this would be able to select various services, including but not limited to vocabulary, voice, and text-to-speech services, according to a variety of application-specific contexts. For example, an app may allow Cortana to read out specific lines of text in its native voice to users, providing a more immersive and less distracting experience for them. Other implementations could include a gesture recognition system being used to provide inputs to applications, the assistant being invoked through voice actions while the application is in use, and more.
Further technicalities regarding the voice integration system can be read in more detail at the source. However, do keep in mind that there is no guarantee this technology will ever see the light of day, as is the case with a number of ideas patented each day.