Saying “Hey Cortana” is too lengthy and Microsoft wants to make the interaction between you and digital speakers crisper. For this, the company is reportedly looking at dropping the call phrase to only “Cortana“.
As The Verge reports, Microsoft‘s first Cortana-powered Invoke speaker now allows you to summon the digital assistant using simply “Cortana” instead of the usual “Hey Cortana”. The change was rolled out to the Invoke speaker last week and is expected to go live for iOS, Android, and Windows 10. However, there is no clarity as to when exactly the feature will be rolled out.
It is worth mentioning that the old way of calling out the digital assistant, “Hey Cortana” continues to be supported on the smart speaker. Amazon’s Alexa also catches the same phrase for responding to queries. Last year, the two companies partnered to further integrate Alexa and Cortana so as to allow support for rival devices. Reportedly, the integration is currently being tested internally, but there is no official word on when it will be finally released to the public.
At the CES 2018 event, Microsoft dashed all rumors about killing its voice-based Cortana assistant. The company said that it will be making its assistant available on more devices in 2018. In an official Windows blog, Jordi Ribas, CVP AI Products said, “We continue to grow the Cortana ecosystem to help people get things done across work and life.” Ribas further said that for this year, Microsoft will make it easier for OEMs and developers to build for Cortana with the Cortana Devices SDK.
Last month, Microsoft expanded Cortana’s home automation skills. The assistant now supports more smart home devices and integrates with IFTTT. Supported devices include those from ecobee, Honeywell Lyric, Honeywell Total Connect Comfort, LIFX, TP-Link Kasa and Geeni. Cortana running on Windows 10 Operating System (OS), iPhone, Android and the Harman Kardon Invoke speakers, can be used to control these devices.