Microsoft have recently revealed a video that illustrates their answer to Apple’s Siri interface; a digital assistant feature currently named “Cortana” after the character from the successful Halo series on Microsoft’s Xbox console. The video itself gives us an idea of how Cortana will be used to provide useful information to a specific individual. However, we still don’t know how the voice activation system will work as the video doesn’t include audio.
Whilst the identification process seems to offer shades of déjà vu with regards to Apple’s Siri, there seems to be quite a lot of focus on context and users getting the most out of the application. Cortana starts by asking to “learn a little bit more about you” before taking you through a series of questions including “When you think about food, what’s most important to you these days?”
What might attract a lot of people towards Windows 8.1 is the fact that the character being used is easily recognisable to a large portion of technology consumers. Cortana is famous for being the artificial intelligence companion of Halo’s main character Master Chief, so there’s certainly the added sci-fi appeal with Microsoft’s new information tool. Whether or not the audio system includes the characters voice could determine just how successful this application could be.
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