Would you trust Cortana to keep an eye on your housemate, or your kid?

  • AP, Las Vegas
  • Updated: Jan 08, 2016 14:12 IST
Cortana may soon become more intelligent with it letting the users know if his or her kid is doing their homework at the right time (Microsoft)

Microsoft is promoting its voice-activated digital assistant, which is built into its Windows 10 software, as a user-friendly controller for Internet-connected appliances and home systems. (Apple has made its Siri program work with home systems in a similar way.) Microsoft showed how Cortana works with Samsung “smart” appliances during an event Thursday at the CES gadget show in Las Vegas.

In the demonstration, a Microsoft presenter asked Cortana to let him know when a Samsung washing machine would be finished with its laundry cycle. Then he showed how Cortana could chart appliance use by different individuals in the house, assuming each person carries a small keychain sensor that lets a smart home system track their movement.

The presenter asked how many hours a fictional boy named “Billy” spent watching TV during the afternoon, when he was home alone after school. After showing the answer in a bar graph, Cortana also was able to report how many times “Billy” opened the refrigerator door - and how many minutes the door was left open each time.

It sounds like “Billy” needs to buckle down and do his homework.

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