If you have Windows 10, you probably have Cortana. For those of you without Windows 10 (and for many that do, if we’re being honest), Cortana, named after the AI in the Halo video games, is a voice-activated assistant that’s Microsoft’s bid to compete with Siri and Google Home — you know, the other voice assistants you have and likely don’t bother with. Microsoft, however, has the muscle to put it in your appliances, at least if they come with a screen.
Normally we’d joke that this would mean you now have more opportunities to ignore Cortana, but Microsoft made the smart call to upgrade the assistant with “wake on voice” and “far-field voice communication.” That is, a stove with Cortana could start preheating when you ask it to, even if you’re across the kitchen. Unlike prompting you to buy movie tickets or book a reservation at a restaurant, that’s a use Cortana could actually be put to.
That said, it’s hard to see this feature being the key selling point for any “smart” fridge, toaster, or other kitchen appliance you might be upgrading to, at least at the moment. In general, smart appliances don’t seem to be igniting the tech world: Most people are happy with the dumb fridge and oven they already have. Still, it’ll fill a niche, and if nothing else, it now means you can goof off with dumb YouTube videos in the kitchen with more than just your phone. The future is amazing!
(Via The Verge)