Google recently announced some improvements to their camera app which would turn it into an intelligent lens on the world, reading the content of your photos and proactively offering relevant information to the user.
It turns out Microsoft has been working on the same feature in Windows, and in Windows 10 Build 16215 they have released some significant improvements to Cortana which brings very similar intelligence to their OS.
Cortana Camera Roll Insights will now read pictures in your camera rolls, and where relevant proactively prompt you to create reminders based on them.
For example, if you take a picture of a poster for an upcoming event, Cortana will now prompt you to create a reminder (image above.)
To try it out, give Cortana permission to access your camera roll via Settings > Cortana > Permissions & history > “Manage the information Cortana can access from this device”. The next time you take a picture of a flier for an upcoming event, Cortana will reach out asking if you want to create a reminder for that time. The feature needs your device to be plugged in and on an unmetered connection.
If you don’t want to wait for Cortana to read your pictures, you can now also proactively indicate your interest in what’s on your screen (e.g. poster, social media post, photo, webpage or more) with the new Cortana Lasso.
If you set your pen button Press and Hold function to Cortana Lasso (Settings > Device > Pen & Windows Ink > Press and hold, and select Cortana Lasso in the drop-down picker) you can use the new lasso tool to circle the relevant information and Cortana will recognize the time, and offer suggested follow-ups through a context menu (image above.)
For this to work, you need a pen with a button that supports Press and Hold of course, such as the one that came with the Surface Pro 4, Surface Book, or Surface Studio.
What do our readers think of these smart new features? Let us know below.
Read more about the new build’s features here.