There’s no doubt that Microsoft sees home automation as one of the areas where Cortana can really shine. Cortana is the virtual assistant that Microsoft officially unveiled when it confirmed Windows Phone 8.1. It is already available in the U.S. whereas Cortana is expected to start its international expansion within a few months. Courtesy of a partnership between Insteon and Cortana, the assistant will soon be able to control devices in a user’s home.
Insteon is a company that develops home automation technology, things like switches, outlets and lights. It announced the partnership shortly after Insteon’s products became available in Microsoft retail stores across the U.S.
Microsoft will allow developers to tap into Cortana in order to bring the functionality to their apps. That’s what Insteon is going to do. Cortana will be available inside its Windows Phone app which can then be used to control connected devices in the home.
For example users can ask Cortana to dim the lights for a movie, time based on specially created scenes. They can ask it to reduce the temperature at a certain time so that the house is cool when they return. Since it is proactive Cortana will learn the user’s habits and will ask itself if they would like to have the A/C turned on.
Insteon’s Windows Phone app will be updated later this year and it will include Cortana. This is just one developer we can be sure to see others follow suit soon.