Wouldn’t it be cool if you could use your smartphone to control your home appliances? Well, we suppose that is technically possible, thanks to apps and devices like the WeMo or the D-Link WiFi Smart Plug, but wouldn’t it be cooler if you could activate or deactivate certain features just by using your voice?

Well the hackers over at Onion.io have recently put on a demonstration of home automation using Microsoft’s Cortana voice assistant, a feature that will be bundled with Windows Phone 8.1. So far based on their demonstrations, they have managed to use Cortana to turn lights on and off, and even print documents.

This is doable because unlike other voice assistant features, Cortana has a unique extensibility about it. Perhaps Google and Apple could add similar features to Google Now and Siri at a later date, but it seems that in the meantime, Cortana might have beaten them to it.

At the same time these are pretty straightforward and simple commands, although we expect that with more time, we will start seeing more unique features and commands that we might be able to do. Imagine being able to load “profiles”, like telling Cortana you want a romantic mood, in which the lights will dim and your HiFi system will load a romantic song; would be pretty cool, huh?

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