Virtual assistants have started coming in many shapes and sizes – Apple Siri, Google’s ‘OK Google’, Microsoft Cortana, Amazon Echo and others – and it seems that they will continue to proliferate as they get intelligent and start helping us in everything we do.
With that vision in mind, Microsoft is gearing up to bring Cortana to as many appliances as possible unlike its competitors who have been offering specific virtual assistant solutions. Microsoft intends to bring Cortana to a range of appliances wherever you need it and with that overarching goal in mind Redmond has released Cortana Devices SDK to third-party developers and OEMs which will enable them to integrate it into devices like speakers, and other smart appliances. Beyond that Microsoft also announced the release of an all-new Translator program to sideline the language barrier problem that affects in-person conversation.
With the Cortana Devices SDK, device makers will be able to create a new generation of smart, personal devices that will enable consumers to use them with utmost ease through just voice commands. Microsoft’s big move towards Internet of Things (IoT) comes in the form of the IoT (Internet of Things) Core edition of the Windows 10 Creators Update and alongside this the Cortana Devices SDK will make a huge impact. Beyond bringing Cortana to a range of smart appliances and powering IoT with its OS, Microsoft is also concentrating its efforts in the connected cars regime.
Microsoft says that its new Cortana Skill Kit Preview for developers which will enable them to create “skills” for Cortana to control or manage devices and services. Further, Microsoft will also enable developers to leverage bots created with the Microsoft Bot Framework and publish them to Cortana as a new skill. The company will also allow developers to “repurpose code from their existing Alexa skills to create Cortana skills.”