Cortana coming to Windows IoT, but she’s still not Headless
How would it feel, when your Fridge can answer whether the beer is chilled enough, or maybe the toaster inform that your toast is ready? Microsoft is trying to achieve that by introducing some new features. At the WinHEC conference held in Shenzhen China, Microsoft announced the several new features in speech platform and the Cortana. According to a report, Microsoft is trying to return to ARM system with the built-in emulation, and some more exciting announcement about the Window platform evolvement. In the Rat Race among Tech Giants like Amazon and Google, Microsoft makes its debut with Cortana-based Windows IoT devices.
Microsoft officials presented the next iteration of speech platform and Cortana-based user interface that will be introduced in the Creators Update of Window coming in the springs of 2017. Microsoft wants to make Cortana more accessible, with a greater number of Cortana-enabled devices.
A report revealed that Cortana would arrive on Window IoT (Internet of Things) core as part of the Window 10 Creators Update. This version of Window is designed for the smart devices and traditional embedded devices like robots, thermostat, toaster and may also be used in Humanoid.
Microsoft isn’t showing interest in making its own headless hardware, instead they are sticking to their Window Platform to enable the Assistant function with Home Hub approach. Some hardware vendors started work on the way, by introducing the systems such as Pavillon Wave from HP. Although the IOT core itself can be used to develop the dedicated hardwares, but only the IoT devices with screen will be able to wake up the Cortana.
Secondly Microsoft is bringing capability that already find in Xbox. Xbox can be waken up by the voice command “Hey Cortana”, PC’s can’t yet do this. In the Anniversary Update new option is included in order to disable system sleeping, so that system can always respond to “Hey Cortana” but at the cost of heavy power cost.
In the Creator Update, Microsoft is going to enable wake-on-voice on a machine supporting the S0ix power state. This state, dubbed “Morden Standby” a hybrid state between the S0 that is the full power state and the traditional S3 power state in which the system sleeps.
In the Creator Update a keyword spotter that is a piece of software that detect the trigger phrase “Hey Cortana” or its variant, will be able to run during S0ix that means it is able to listen for the special phrase, and if it hears it, it can turn on the screen and switch the system to the full S0 state. A future Window’s update will go further still, enabling the use of hardware DSP’s in order to run the keyword spotter with this hardware.
In addition to Cortana, Microsoft also adding the far-field speech microphone arrays, that enable Cortana to recognize voice command upto 13 feets away, making the wake-on-voice much more relevant by the “Hey Cortana” command albeit for US and UK english, but for other twelve languages we have to wait..
Apparently, Microsoft hopes to roll out the Cortana-powered IoT devices in late 2017. But if all goes right and the Microsoft and their partner’s work goes as planned, we could see the Cortana-powered IoT devices as early in next May.