Microsoft is aiming to bring its voice control interface, Cortana, to the Internet of Things in early 2017.
However, with Google Home and Amazon’s Alexa currently dominating this space, is this move too little, too late?
The company plans to bring Cortana to IoT devices in March of next year via its Microsoft 10 Creators Update. It is outlining its software requirements to hardware makers in preparation of devices coming to market. The goal of this move is to grant Cortana the ability to control mainstream IoT devices such as fridges, toasters, lights, thermostats and more.
Microsoft has not announced a specific device but has unveiled plans for its Cortana platform to include far-field voice recognition.
In cooperation with hardware manufacturers, this could translate into devices that “wake up” through voice queries on their own, without an extra device like the Home or Echo. It is yet to be seen whether Microsoft will release a directly competitive device to Google’s and Amazon’s flagship devices.
This creates many factors for builders utilizing voice control in their projects. For starters, it gives them more choices, but this also creates the pressure of making the correct choice. Builders need to do research to determine which voice control platform works best for their specific projects, as well as the specific needs of their clients.
Factors such as space, speaker quality and interoperability need to be considered. For example, if builders are considering Google Home, they should in turn consider including additional Google devices in the home package.
TecHome Builder will stay on top of developments surrounding Cortana’s entrance into the voice control realm.
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