Microsoft is working on an Alexa-like “Home Hub”

smart-home

While Microsoft is actively working on Cortana as an intelligent assistant, it has been conspicuous is not having a smart assistant appliance like Amazon Echo or the new Google Home.

It appears however that Microsoft has been working on a demonstration of the technology, with a Microsoft Engineer in China noting on his LinkedIn profile that since June 2015 he has been working on “Home hub project aimed to build a smart kitchen based on the Microsoft’s Cortana and Azure Cloud.

June 2015 – Present (1 year 5 months)Beijing City, China
Home hub project aimed to build a smart kitchen based on the Microsoft’s Cortana and Azure Cloud.
• ZigBee driver development
• ZigBee protocol architecture & integration
• Mic Array firmware development with Cypress

The hub would feature home automation control powered by Zigbee and a mic array for voice control.

In an earlier project the engineer worked on a demonstration project called Voice Control Box Project which demonstrated  “the concept of the Voice Control and help customer deep understand the Home Automation

October 2014 – June 2015 (9 months)Beijing City, China
Voice Control Box Project is the first trail for far field Voice Command device, it demonstrates the concept of the Voice Control and help customer deep understand the Home Automation
– Work with BYD, response for the wp8.1 tool kit build & release.
– Wolfson 8281 Audio chip driver development
– integrate V290 key word voice trigger to wp 8.1.
– LED driver development.
– Cortana UI development

At the time it appeared the box was running Windows Phone 8.1, though we assume a new device would run a version of Windows 10.

It is of course not clear that such a device will ever come to market, but it is good to know that at least Microsoft is exploring the field.

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