Satechi’s $23 ‘Cortana button’ brings the digital assistant to your car or …

30 Jul 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Satechi’s $23 ‘Cortana button’ brings the digital assistant to your car or countertop.

Satechi could have you covered in late August, when it’s planning to ship a dedicated “Cortana button.” The palm-sized hardware button connects via Bluetooth to a Windows 10 PC or Windows phone, and initiates Cortana’s voice-command prompt with a press. Microsoft’s much-awaited Windows 10 operating system was finally released on Wednesday, and the first impressions suggest it might be here to stay for quite some time.

The personal assistant’s “black book” is an invaluable compendium of their employer’s likes, dislikes and, perhaps most importantly, spouse’s birthday.The application is essentially controlled by voice commands and allows you to check the weather forecast, latest news, traffic as well as perform other tasks.

The idea is to place the button in a convenient location, such as on a car steering wheel for Windows phone users, or on the counter for a PC in your kitchen. Billed as the final version of Microsoft’s Windows OS, Windows 10 (W10) has been described by major tech-websites and reviewers as “defying reviews”. It is integrated with the operating system, so in addition to performing Internet searches, Cortana can help you find local resources, such as OS settings or files. While Cortana has not been localised for the African market as of yet users can switch there region to either the United States or United Kingdom – by clicking the Start Menu and typing in Region – in order to gain access to Cortana.

This is primarily because W10 “is not a finished product, and will never be so”, since Microsoft intends to get it updated frequently, customising interfaces, features and more. Ahead of today’s launch of Windows 10, Microsoft researchers followed real-life personal assistants about their work to learn how they serve their employers. The researchers used their findings, and the notion of the black book, to improve Cortana, Microsoft’s virtual assistant, which is designed to smooth the working day by automating certain tasks. Microsoft has said that it will let developers make their applications Cortana aware, so the applications could support voice commands, Cortana-based queries, and just about anything else that developers can dream up.

To get the most out of Cortana, IT News Africa has listed the top voice commands to use with Cortana below: If you find that the temperature is showing in Fahrenheit you can simply click the microphone button and say “switch temperature to Celsius,” or vice versa. Why this matters: Granted, you don’t need a Bluetooth button to activate Cortana remotely, as Windows 10 lets you initiate a voice command by yelling “Hey Cortana.” However, we’ve heard that turning on this feature can drain a laptop’s battery life. Cortana is one of several virtual assistants made available in the past few years by big technology companies, such as Google’s Now and Apple’s Siri.

What topping do you want?” That basically means each person will be installing it with different apps and choosing different features, thereby setting up his or her own unique version of W10. For starters, not only is the much-loved, and much-missed start menu back, it also brings along a powerful system-wide search that users are describing as an offline Google for your system, such that it brings you exactly what you are looking for, even when your search word has typos.

The ‘Action Center’, replacing the Charms bar, is much more genuinely useful, provides notifications and quick access to settings, and is snappier when it comes to speed and responsiveness. Edge, Microsoft’s new web browser, has been reported as a ‘revelation’, across media, with reviewers calling it a slick and simpler version of the Google Chrome browser. While many complained the W10 update was slow to install, others reported some of the promised features, including Cortana, were not going to be available for some time. The saving grace, of course, is the fact that W10 will be a perennially developing OS, and there is a chance of bugs getting fixed in the near future, with each minor update.

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