Cortana is getting a major new feature in the coming weeks. Some Windows 10 users today started seeing a new Connected Home feature in Cortana which will allow users to control their connected home devices with the personal assistant. Cortana previously allowed users to control their smart home devices through third-party apps and voice commands, but the Connected Home feature is a built-in system that’ll allow the personal assistant to “natively” control your smart home devices without needing any additional apps.
Cortana’s Connected Home feature works with most of the popular smart home platforms. Right off the bat, Cortana will support Nest, Phillips Hue, SmartThings, Insteon, and Wink — while this is a short list, it’s likely Microsoft will add support for more devices over time. Once you set up one of these platforms and connect your devices, you will be able to use your voice to control them in Windows 10, Android, or iOS. For instance, you can say “Hey Cortana, set the thermostat to 2degreesss” and it’ll work with something like Nest to turn your Nest Thermostat’s temperature down.
Connected Home is a feature meant for Microsoft’s upcoming Cortana-powered speaker. Harman Kardon’s Invoke speaker powered by Cortana is expected to launch on the 22nd of October, and you’ll be able to use your voice to control all of your smart home devices via the speaker. The feature seems to be a bit limited at the moment, as there doesn’t seem to be any way of defining different rooms or groups for your smart home devices which would make it much easier to control them — especially if you have a lot of smart home devices in your house.
Connected Home isn’t available to all users at the moment, and Microsoft seems to be gradually rolling the feature out to all users. It’s also possible the feature is limited to users in the United States, although we weren’t able to confirm that yet.
Source: Billy Munshaw.