If Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa just aren’t doing it for you anymore, you may consider turning to Microsoft Cortana instead. On Friday, October 20, the company announced the availability of the Harman Kardon Invoke with Cortana. Cortana is a proactive digital assistant that gives you even more control over your smart home. As part of the launch, Microsoft selected IoT company Insteon as a core partner, which means that you can now command your Insteon devices right out of the box with nothing but your voice.
Promising to be the most reliable IoT solution for lighting and electrical control, Insteon features a patented dual-mesh network that communicates simultaneously by way of wireless radio waves and a home’s existing wiring. Plus, Insteon integrates with several products and systems, including HVAC units, locks, timers, lighting, cameras, music, humidity and leak sensing, garage doors, and more.
Cortana-controlled devices will be able to respond to natural language commands, so you can make believe that you have a real assistant, instead of a virtual one. For example, you can say, “Hey Cortana, can you check that the garage lights are off, turn on the porch light, set the security system, and turn down the heat?” and rest assured that the AI assistant will take care of all these requests. And thanks to the new Insteon partnership, you’ll be able to tell Cortana to do even more — after all, Insteon boasts an installed base of millions or smart lighting and electrical devices.
“The average North American home has about 80 electrical and lighting nodes — largely wall switches and outlets—which is the focus on our Insteon technology. In the foreseeable future, the majority of these nodes will be ‘smart’ and internet addressable,” said Rob Lilleness, CEO of Insteon. “Microsoft’s entry is further testament to the momentum in the market and a key technology building block to delivering on the promise of a smart home.”
Insteon joins the likes of Google Nest, Philips Hue, and Samsung SmartThings as products supported by the new Cortana Home. So if you’re looking to boost the IQ of your humble abode, you may consider getting started with this latest updated AI assistant.