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Cortana, turn on the lights! Leak shows Microsoft getting into home automation

Virtual Assistants: Cortana
Image used with permission by copyright holder
As Digital Trends reported a few months back, Microsoft plans to compete in the smart home automation game by adding a “Home Hub” feature to Windows 10 PCs. However, The Verge has leaked new information from internal sources pertaining to Home Hub, and how the feature will likely work.

According to The Verge, a Windows 10 update in September will include a variety of features, including improvements to Cortana and support for third party smart home devices. It appears Windows 10 PCs will soon be the newest home automation managers.

Instead of using a standalone device like Echo, the user will be able to control a variety of smart home devices (Hue, Nest, and more) from within Windows 10. In addition to controlling smart devices, Home Hub will be designed for families, as it will feature a welcome screen that’s “always on.” This provides families with constant access to their to-do lists, calendars, and notes.

It seems as though you’ll be able to issue voice commands to Cortana, and she’ll be able to turn your lights on and off, adjust your thermostat, or manage your family calendar; and, you’ll be able to do all of this on a fully functional Windows 10 PC.

“Microsoft appears to be readying Windows 10 for future devices that are similar to Amazon’s new Echo Show hardware, with easy access to voice search, calling, and smart device control. Microsoft’s differentiator is that it wants these devices to be considered full Windows 10 PCs,” reports The Verge.

Home Hub’s always on welcome screen is designed for new, smaller hardware that will support voice commands given from a distance. Microsoft has reportedly been working with HP and Lenovo, who plan to have PCs ready for the holidays that are optimal for the new Home Hub features. Microsoft is also holding a special event in Shanghai on May 23rd to “show the world what’s next.”

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Erika Rawes
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