Yesterday was the first day of Microsoft's WinHEC conference in China, where the firm made a number of significant announcements. One of those was Project Evo, the company's plan to "deliver all-new ways for devices to light up with the latest in advanced security, artificial intelligence and Cortana, mixed reality, and gaming."
Part of Evo is far-field speech communication, a technology that's similar to what's used in Amazon's Echo and Google's Home. It will allow you to talk to Cortana from across the room. This is all part of what's known as HomeHub, a feature that Microsoft hasn't exactly announced just yet, but it's meant to make Windows PCs more family-friendly.
Other parts of the project include "mixed reality experiences for everyone through affordable PCs and head mounted displays", "gaming innovations like eSports, game broadcasting and support for 4K, High Dynamic Range (HDR), Wide Color Gamut (WCG), spatial audio, and Xbox controllers with native Bluetooth", and security improvements.
Microsoft is partnering with Intel on Evo, so we reached out to the company to find out if the new features would also work with upcoming Qualcomm-powered Windows 10 machines. A spokesperson issued the following statement to Neowin:
Project Evo is an ongoing collaboration with Intel to evolve the modern PC. Together, our work will extend immersive mixed reality and next generation experiences to hundreds of millions of PC and HMD customers, and raise the bar for what’s possible with Windows PCs. Expect to see devices with the experiences and technologies we talked about today show up on shelves in the next 12 months – by Holiday 2017.
While there's still no word on whether Qualcomm PCs will support Evo, the good news is that we can expect devices with these features to arrive within the next year. The Holiday 2017 timeline fits in with Redstone 3, the next feature update to Windows 10 after the Creators Update, which is lined up for March.