Microsoft isn’t really the name you would first associate with the Smart Home industry but they have their own connected home technology embedded into Cortana, the voice assistant you might not even know you have.
If you run Microsoft Windows10 then you already have Microsoft’s voice assistant built into your computer and therefore in your Smart Home, accessible via your PC’s and smart phones.
It’s a crowded space at the moment with Alexa from Amazon, Google Assistant and Siri currently jostling it out for control (literally) of our smart homes. All of these voice assistants can control and automate things like your lights, audio an home automation systems. The ace up Microsoft’s sleeve is that Cortana is built into every MS Windows 10 install in the world. MS reckon that over 145 million users currently use Cortana.
Cortana and the smart home:
So what exactly can Cortana do for your smart home?
You can control your;
In addition you can ask questions from the web, check news, weather etc… and manage your calenders. Cortana can even sort through your emails and interface with your business documents.
In the same format as Amazons Alex, Microsoft’s Cortana has Skills, you can expand control of your Smart Home through enables skills. Microsoft is working towards making it easy to port Amazon Skills directly over to Cortana.
Some of the Smart Home gadgets that will work with Cortana in Thailand include ; Wink, SmartThings, Philips Hue and LIFX.
Music wise there is Spotify integration for your home.
Microsoft now offer Cortana built into devices, Harmon Kardon recently released a speaker with Cortana built-in. There are rumours that Microsoft is working on its own Cortana speaker.
Another great for SmartHome integration, especially here in Thailand is the IFTTT integration (If This Then That) which enables you to string together quite complex Home Automation routines.
It’s a tough market though and Google, Apple and Amazon are all BIG players in the smart home speaker and assistant territory, can Microsoft leverage their massive install base and become the basis for consumers smart home, something they’ve been angling for since their launch of the Microsoft Xbox.