Back in January, Microsoft announced the purchase of home automation startup R2 Studios and they absorbed some of the talent of the startup into their management. R2 Studios had several important home automation patents, and their technology was expected to be integrated into products at Microsoft’s Xbox Division at that time.
Earlier this month, lots of information on Microsoft’s upcoming Cortana personal assistant leaked online. First, it was reported that Cortana will be the personal AI agent on Windows Phone devices that will come with Windows Phone Blue. Later, Mary Jo Foley from ZDNet reported that Cortana is more than a Windows Phone app. Cortana will be a shell that will be found on future Windows, Windows Phone and Xbox One operating systems.
Cortana will be more than just an app that lets users interact with their phones more naturally using voice commands. Cortana is core to the makeover of the entire “shell” — the core services and experience — of the future versions of Windows Phone, Windows and the Xbox One operating systems, from what I’ve heard from my contacts. In Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer’s strategy memo from July about Microsoft’s reorg, there were hints about Cortana. Ballmer mentioned that Microsoft will be working, going forward, on “a family of devices powered by a service-enabled shell.”
According to the information we got from our sources, Microsoft is planning to integrate Home Automation system into Cortana personal assistant. It appears that Cortana will be able to integrate into a home automation system that you can control from your phone, tablet, PC or even your Xbox One. For example, you can control the room temperature by saying “Cortana, turn down the temperature two degrees” from your couch. If you are leaning back on your couch in front of your Xbox One, then Xbox One’s Cortona will take necessary action. If you are in a bed room, your mobile device or tablet can take such instructions.
Microsoft is also considering ’Cortana’ as the final name of the personal assistant, due to the very positive feedback Microsoft received from the public since its leak.
Some more related information on Home Automation from Microsoft,