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Developer shows how Cortana can be used for home automation

We’ve already seen some of the cool things that Cortana can do, and how it is more than just a personal assistant. But the developers over at Onion have leveraged Cortana’s ability to integrate with third-party apps to take it to a completely different level.

And while the video is short, the results are an enticing look at just what could be ahead for Windows Phone, along with mobile and non-mobile devices alike.

Using Onion’s (onion.io) firmware and cloud-based infrastructure, these guys were able to use simple voice commands to get Cortana to turn a lamp on and off, as well as to print a basic itemized grocery list using a receipt printer.

Sure, we won’t be heading into Ikea for a voice-activated lamp or a grocery list printer any time soon, but with beginning rise of the “internet of things” and the adaptability of Cortana, this future may not be too far off.

Soon we could be telling our phones to turn our lights on at dusk, or to get the house warmed up as we brave our wintery commute home from work.

There are already plenty of thermostats and garage door openers out there that let you control them from afar, but that is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. We could see companies like Onion or others start producing internet-connected adapters to market to the masses for their various devices, and because of Cortana, Windows Phone is poised to be on the vanguard.

So what do you think? Is the demonstration in this video a gimmick, or is this what the future holds in store? How willing are you to wire your house and everything in it to the internet?

Be sure to let us know in the comments.

And if you are interested in learning more about the “internet of things,” wearables, and all things connected, check out our sister site, Connectedly.

Source: Sertac Ozercan (via YouTube); Via: NeoWin

70 Comments
  • Very cool
  • Ubuntu running the backend 
  • Lol, so it's not only me who noticed that.
  • I see also an iMac on the right.. probably they work with many OSs in that place:/
  • Off topic but plz tell is there any lock for whatsapp to protect or in 8.1 ??
  • Let the judgment day begin
  • Anyone notice Cortana's voice changed on most of her answers? Or is it just me? She sounds much better.
  • I haven't talked to her for a few days, but now when I checked.. Indeed Cortana's voice seems to have like..a wider spectrum, with more emotions - more human-like. She even signs better now!
  • I noted this as well. Her "security clearance" Halo answer doesn't even sound like her anymore
  • I just checked, and yeah, definitely sounds different, more natural and confident I think.
  • I don't know but her new voice turn me on :O Am i the only one?
  • Nty
  • That's awesome!
  • Reminds me of a scene on Big Bang Theory where Penny asks ,"So what?". Someone responds, " Because we can." In other words, it's novel but most people will not care.
  • It's just a proof of concept. Something most people just don't get, until a bonifide product is born that is actually practical for something.
  • http://youtube.com/watch?list=PL499AADC8B3F25877&v=0kzjqBacF1k
  • Cortana run my bath water
  • Imagine leaving for home after a hard day's work...
    Cortana, run my bath...
    Of course, running bath.
    (10 mins later)
    Cortana, turn off the bath.
    I'm sorry, I can't connect to the network right now
    Waaaaaaah!
  • +1
  • That is funny.
  • Hahaha, good one.
  • +1520 LOLed and my wife looked at me funny, but that's exactly how it would go, or "sorry the internet and I aren't talking right now"
  • "I'm sorry I didn't get that"
  • Hahahaha. That really got me laughing.
  • cortana turn the stove of in 15
  • This is great! The open ended design should really help Cortana move some phones in the future.
  • Of cource with a 3d printer we would get a different output for eggs and milk.
  • Edible haha
  • Hello lamp, hello pants.
  • +busey
  • Indeed, Cortana did get a more Cortana voice. Noticed it a couple a days ago. I hope some day, she will pop out of the screen. Holo style. So she can flip the finger to people.
  • Once their was a person who asked their phone to show someone the finger!!! Haha! But yeah, she had more emotions in her voice now.
  • My lead man has the Nag to ask allot when we are busy on our game. So Cortana as a Holo would come in handy. I would say to Cortana; you know what to do. So she will say, Hey Boss! and flips the finger. Just perfect. He can't blame me for that.
  • Help!!! I updated my Lumia 520 to windows phone 8.1 but there is no Cortana even after changin my region and language to united states
  • Did u also made sure, language is "English, united states" is on top of the list? Also it need Keyboard English united states and location service turned on.
  • Location service turned on or off? Cuz am not in the U.S.
  • Turn it on. It does not matter if u are not in the states. She will now and learn where u are. I flew to NL a few weeks ago from the US. She asked me if I was going to another work location, so Cortana can save that location for u. And i was very impressed by that.
  • Even my language is English united states, and I've restarted my phone a lot of times, still no Cortana
  • Happened when I updated my sisters 520. Couldn't figure it out either so I just hard reset and Cortana was there.
  • What's gonna happen to my already installed apps wen I perform the hard reset?
  • U will lose them unless you back them up with the backup option. Same with pictures etc.
  • Not true. You will not lose the apps even without backup.
  • Its called a hard reset for a reason. Most people don't use the auto backup to get more free space in memory. In that case u need to re-install everything. And No, do u Use the backup service, all the apps u installed will be there after a hard reset, only the start screen must be reconfigured. That's why my last reply.
  • That is a totally different story dude. You are not gonna lose any apps, but if you do not have backup, you will only lose information, what of your apps have been installed on this particular phone, but you can install them manually again. This is important to know specially if you have any paid ones.
  • You don't lose the start screen layout in 8.1 unless you don't restore or turned off backup
  • Right, if you backup your apps you will have everything back the way it was, kinda like san image restore on a pc
  • Stup Cortana from settings inyeo applications
  • In 5 years: Cortana, please flush the toilet after me.
  • ERROR:Network Problem..Will stink till you get a connection..
  • Cortana, turn on animatronic love doll. Start heat mode.
  • I hate Nest Thermostat for not having:
    1) An official app for WP
    2) App fully integrated with Cortana The first developer to develop an app for Nest with Cortana integrated will put all other Personal Assistants (Siri/Google Now) to shame.  Prime example of Assistant integration with 3rd party apps. I wish MS bought Nest instead of Google.
  • Cortana, please take me to work.
  • Impressive
  • I want. I want now!
  • Was talking to my wife about Cortana, she thinks Cortana appeals to men more than women.
  • They need to add Master Chief's voice and problem solved :P.
  • If you choose course "male voice", would it be Cortana or would the app name change? lol
  • Male voice is unchanged and Cortana doesn't use it, but the other system speech calls do
  • It looks some what fake... The man had his hand behind the lamp in the video
  • You can already control lights with the app snap switch, if you have Insteon lights or hue lighting. Works pretty cool, you can speak to Cortana.
  • It's really useful and awesome.
    And if you think about it, it's not that hard to implement it using Arduino...
  • Woah..... Nice
  • That's pretty dope
  • Cortana Make Me A Cup Of Coffe!
  • With Insteon now developing apps for Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8.1, it would be grew to see them incorporate Cortana into the Windows Phone apps. As home automation products go, Insteon has a broad range of devices and I think it would be great for them to embrace Cortana.
  • This, on all microsoft devices, especially xbox one is killer. Home automation is going to be the next big thing.
  • Grasshopper has been taking voice commands in windows phone before Cortana. It just needs a simpler command set.
  •   This is a pretty good start. I would love to be able to one day remote start my car from my phone on a cold morning.
  • Yea that exists already. http://viper.com/SmartStart/
  • Wait'll Quagmire gets ahold of this - "Hey Cortana - it's go-time, baby..."  Lights dim, the bed starts rotating, swanky music starts playing...