Tom Warren gives details on Cortana, Lots of Features; Microsoft’s Mix of Siri and Google Now

| February 20, 2014 | 18 Replies

Cortana Nokia MS

There’s much that has been rumoured about WP’s upcoming voice assistant, Cortana. Yesterday, we saw some of the Icon set that revealed some of Cortana’s actions.

Tom Warren shares a few more tidbits. The salient points are as follows:

  • Mix of Google now and Siri
  • Replaces the Bing Search via dedicated key
  • Personality not dissimilar to Siri
  • Cortana animated when speaking/thinking/bouncing or frown with ’emotion’ depending on the queries (MS paperclip!!! Ha, I picked the labrador. I loved that thing. Kept me entertained when writing long essays but not too distracting like Reddit)
  • Notebook feature – control privacy, what you share in terms of location data, bevaiours, personal info, reminders and contact info.
  • Cortana won’t access info without level of user control..
  • Cortana can greet you by name, ask if you need help
  • Cortana will learn more about you the more you use it, offering to store info like home/work locations and interests.
  • Cortana will react to messages and emails that contain phrases like ‘let’s meet tomorrow at 8pm’ and it’ll ask if you want to set up a reminder or calendar entry
  • Cortana can give guidance on weather, stocks, directions, appointments, and music that’s contextual based on location and other data (what about just opening a particular track?)
  • Management of do not disturb feature.
  • Inner circle of contacts that allow Cortana to manage notifications and calls during quiet hours.
  • Initial Cortana will ship with WP8.1
  • Lots of capabilities

Tom wants MS to extend it to third party apps and Xbox devices to improve functionality

Real life test – to see how it works with voice vcommands and understand natural phrases. Tom is impressed with MS’s work on the Xbox One, but says Cortana has to be at least as good as Siri for the company to position this as a full personal digital assistant.

Check this video out from about 20 minutes onwards.


Category: Nokia

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