I just watched my team demo our new, way cool, Cortana integration APIs/UX. Can’t wait to see what devs build with it! #3rdPartyAPIs
— Rob Chambers (@spacetimeglitch) February 27, 2015
Rob Chambers is the development manager of Cortana Speech team at Microsoft. Today he tweeted that his team is working on new Cortana integration APIs for 3rd party developers. As you can see from his above Tweet, he thinks these upcoming new APIs are way cool. Right now, Cortana APIs in Windows Phone is structured like the below,
- Define what “voice commands” their application would like to support, declaratively, in a schematized XML file. These voice commands include phrase patterns, like “Skype, Call [contact_name]”, or be as general as “Hulu, [whatever_the_user_might_say_here]”. The voice commands also contain additional information, like how the application should be launched, and what should the user see while the application is loading (e.g. “Searching for Mr. Peabody showtimes…”).
- Register the XML file containing the voice commands at application first launch. The voice commands can be updated after the fact, as well, but like a Background Task, you must “install” the commands when your app is run for the first time.
- Handle the voice activation, once Cortana recognizes that the user spoke your app name, followed by a command you’ve registered”. You’ll receive, on application activation/page navigation (WinRT app vs Silverlight app) parameters that indicate which voice command was recognized, the fill_in_the_blank_phrases, as well as the full text that was recognized (or typed) into Cortana’s UX.
I would like to see how Microsoft is going to extend Cortana with 3rd party apps with the upcoming new APIs. I guess we will hear more about this at BUILD developer conference in April.