Microsoft has discussed its Internet of Things (IoT) ambitions plenty this year. The company is helping to drive IoT development with the Windows 10 Core platform and device starter packs. At a WinHEC session (via ZDNet), the company says it will be bringing Cortana to IoT devices. More specifically, the voice assistant will come to hardware with the Windows 10 Creators Update.
Those who have followed the Creators Update since its announcement in October will know the upgrade arrives in the spring. That gives us a general idea of when Cortana will come to IoT devices. Microsoft has been expanding the horizons of its virtual assistant, and this is the next step.
In essence, bringing Cortana to IoT means she can show up on any connected device. To highlight this, Microsoft showed Cortana running on a thermostat and a refrigerator.
While Cortana for IoT is exciting, the company detailed other plans for the service in the Creators Update. During the WinHEC session, Microsoft said the assistant will gain far-field voice support in the update. Basically, this will give users the ability to instruct Cortana from 13 feet with ambient noise.
Other new features for the service include Wake on Voice from Modern Standby. This allows Cortana to wake a PC even if the screen is off. Expect all of these features to come after the Creators Update launches in spring 2017.
Microsoft and IoT
As mentioned, the company has been detailing its IoT ambitions this year. At the heart of the plans is Windows 10 IoT Core and its professional variant. This special version of Windows 10 is for internet-connected devices that are exclusively built by original equipment manufacturers (OEM).
The cloud is also a part of the company’s plans for the Internet of Things. Azure IoT Gateway reflects this and was announced at Microsoft’s Build 2016 event. These starter packs allow developers to build IoT ideas through a serverless compute platform. Because it is hosted on cloud through Azure, customers only pay per execution.