Microsoft’s Cortana voice assistant is built into every PC that ships with Windows 10. You can interact with Cortana by voice or by typing a question or request. And it does many of the same things other voice assistants including setting reminders, providing news or weather updates, or telling jokes. There’s also support for third-party “skills” from companies including Fitbit, TuneIn, and Expedia.

But one area where Amazon, Google, and Apple still hold a lead is in smart home gadgets. Want to control your locks, light bulbs, thermostats or security cameras by voice? Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri have got you covered with support for a wide range of smart home ecosystems.

Now Microsoft is starting to play catch up: there’s a new Connected Home tab in Cortana for Windows 10 PCs and phones.

At launch, you can link Cortana to devices from Wink, Nest, SmartThings, Hue, and Insteon.

The timing is interesting. While Cortana initially launched on Windows phones and computers, the first smart speaker to use Microsoft’s voice assistant software is coming soon and the Harman Kardon Invoke speaker will probably also be able to control your smart home devices.

But it’s nice to know that you don’t necessarily need new hardware to do that. You just need a PC that’s on all the time.

via Windows Central 

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6 replies on “Cortana learns to speak to smart home devices”

  1. Ah Microsoft. ALWAYS late to the game with a product that only shows that, “hey look we can do that cool thing also!”

  2. Connected to smartthings. At each request, Cortana responds:
    “You don’t have any devices I can control.”
    Not functional here.

    1. I had the same issue with the older model 2242-222 Insteon Hub, but the 2245-222 works just fine for me. The 2242-222 also doesn’t work with Alexa either, so it’s not too surprising it doesn’t support Cortana, as they likely use the same API hooks.

      Once I tried it with a 2245-222, setup was dead simple.

      I will say that Amazon does a better job of informing you why the 2242-222 doesn’t work, whereas with Cortana and Windows 10 it just fails without explanation.

      1. I will also add that Cortana Connected Home seems to only discover devices, not scenes. So far this puts Cortana at a serious disadvantage to Alexa or Google Home, both of which support scenes. Hopefully MS can resolve this ASAP so this effort doesn’t fall flat on it’s face.

        Note: Alexa supports Insteon scenes directly through the Insteon skill, whereas with Google Home I connect to my Insteon scenes via a Universal Devices Home Control account.

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