A few weeks ago, the Cortana team introduced a new concert-tracking feature listed under Interests. By enabling Concert Watch, Cortana can show you when your favorite artists are playing in your area and how to get tickets. It is an ingenious addition to the personal assistant as keeping track of your favorite artists is getting more and more difficult with our increasingly complex lives.
As cool as the concert-tracking feature is, we had a few questions about how it all worked. Luckily, we were able to ask Limor Lahiani, Principal Development Lead and Hadas Bitran, Principal Program Management Lead at Microsoft about how Cortana does what she does.
How does Cortana pick your favorite artists? I assume it is tied into Xbox Music, but even there is it based on your collection or something more sophisticated?
How far out does it notify the user that a concert is coming up e.g. two weeks, two days, 24 hours, etc.?
Will there be a way to add manually artists to this Interest?
Any thoughts about letting users pin it to their Start screen?
Is it possible to expand it to just genres? This way the user can explore new artists in their area that may overlaps with their musical tastes.
I know you probably can't talk roadmaps, but just want to throw it out there a top request, which is also somewhat logical: Let Cortana scan your Xbox Music collection and have Cortana tell you when a new album or single is out. There is already a nice universal app called 'Album Releases' that does this, but obviously, it would be super cool for Cortana to do it natively.
Concert Watch is certainly one of the more innovative uses of Cortana so far and it is great to have some light shed on how it all works. For those using Cortana today, have any of you used Concert Watch yet?
Special thanks to Sandeep Paruchuri at Microsoft for facilitating this article and to Limor Lahiani and Hadas Bitran for taking the time to answer our questions!
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Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.