One of the most fundamental problems with phone-based voice assistants is how awkward it can be to use them in public. As much as I use my Harman/Kardon Invoke at home to control smart lights, get calendar info, and create Cortana reminders, I pretty much never use her on my Android phone for one pretty simple reason, it's just a bit ... weird, to do so in public at least. Apparently, Microsoft agrees, as the company has patented a module that can detect "silent" voice commands.
As described by the company's patent filing, the "silent" input method can detect whispers and extrapolate voice commands from the airflow created while mouthing words. The module can be placed in a range of devices, including smart watches, phones, a smart "ring," regular headset microphones, and even a TV remote.
As usual, note that patents don't necessarily translate into products, but there have been a few rumors floating around recently that Microsoft isn't done thinking about Cortana-focused hardware. We'll just have to wait and see.
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Jez Corden a Managing Editor at Windows Central, focusing primarily on all things Xbox and gaming. Jez is known for breaking exclusive news and analysis as relates to the Microsoft ecosystem while being powered by caffeine. Follow on Twitter @JezCorden and listen to his Xbox Two podcast, all about, you guessed it, Xbox!