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Raspberry Pi 3: Users Can Now Build Devices That Can Take Cortana Commands

11 April 2017, 6:59 am EDT By Anu Passary Tech Times
With the arrival of Windows 10 Creators Update, Raspberry Pi 3 will support Microsoft's Cortana in tech projects based on Windows 10 IoT core. The Creators Update will be pushed out from April 11.  ( Raspberry )

Tech enthusiasts now have reason to rejoice as Raspberry Pi 3, the mini computer, will soon support Microsoft's virtual assistant Cortana. That's right, Microsoft is bringing support for Cortana to its Windows 10 IoT Core OS.

With the arrival of this support, Raspberry Pi 3 users will soon be able to build innovative voice-equipped tech devices, which can take Cortana commands.

However, to tap into the feature, one will needs to upgrade the developer board, which can run Windows 10 IoT Core, to the Creators Update for the OS.

How Will Cortana Help Raspberry Pi 3 Projects?

Cortana will work in a similar way as it functions on PCs. Therefore, one will be able to quiz Cortana on things such as the time, traffic, weather, and stock prices.

DIY gadget developers will now be able to build smart home devices using Raspberry Pi 3, which will support and accept Cortana commands. However, to incorporate Cortana support in the device, the developer has to ensure that the gadget runs on Windows 10 IoT Core, rather than a Linux-based OS.

Cortana Customization Support

Using Raspberry Pi, gadget developers will be able to program customized commands for Cortana on devices. These commands could be related to a wide variety of features such as mapping, reminders, news, events, dictionaries, and more.

Apart from these, the Windows 10 Creators update also brings Cortana support for Raspberry Pi 3 "chit chat" functionality, which may be a reference to inclusion of chatbots in the device.

Microsoft Extends Cortana Support To Compete With Rivals

Microsoft expanding Cortana support to Windows 10 IoT Core — and other independent single-board computers such as Raspbery Pi 3 — can be interpreted as a wise strategy to counter the growing popularity of Amazon's Alexa-enabled smart home devices such as the Amazon Echo and Echo Dot.

Till date, many tech enthusiasts have attempted to incorporate features of a virtual assistant in smart home devices in vain. By rolling out Cortana support in the Creators Update for Windows 10 IoT Core, Microsoft is finally making their life simpler.

With this development, small-scale smart home device manufacturers and DIY tech enthusiasts will not have to shell out loads of money, or tie up with a big corporation to include an AI in their own smart home gadget or independent projects.

Apart from Raspberry Pi 3, Windows 10 IoT Core currently supports Intel's MinnowBoard and Joule. It will add support the Intel chip dubbed Apollo Lake and Compute Sticks.

Cortana Support Limitations

Although inclusion of Cortana support is great news, enthusiasts will need to keep in mind several considerations to ensure Cortana support for Windows 10 Iot Core.

For proper and smooth functioning of Microsoft's virtual assistant, the addition of a speaker and microphones in the build of the devices is important. However, not all microphones and speakers support Cortana or Creators Update, which may be a potential hurdle.

Logitech's S150 USB speaker is the only one that supports the Creators Update. However, the options for microphones include Sound Tech CM-1000USB Table Top Conference Meeting Microphone, Microsoft LifeCam HD 3000, and Blue Microphones Snowball iCE Condenser Microphone/Cardioid.

Microsoft will begin rolling out the Windows 10 Creators update from Tuesday, April 11.

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