Intel, Microsoft going long distance with Cortana on Windows 10 PCs

You'll also be able to shout 'Hey Cortana' to wake up PCs from standby

Intel and Microsoft are working on technology allowing you to shout out commands to Cortana or activate a Windows 10 PC from sleep mode without being all that close to it.

The chipmaker is working with Microsoft to add "far-field speech recognition" technology, where one can shout out Cortana commands to a Windows PC from longer distances.

"Soon, you’ll be able to speak to your PC from a distance and access all of your information on the device and in the cloud," Navin Shenoy is senior vice president and general manager for the Client Computing Group for Intel, said in a blog entry this week.

The range isn't available yet.

Also, users will also be able to use Cortana to start a PC from standby. Users will have to say, "Hey Cortana."

For now, Cortana best works if you are close to the PC. This development is more in the vein of Amazon Echo, which can recognize commands from a distance.

The ability to shout commands to Cortana from a longer distance also has Amazon Echo-like benefits. Users will be able to tell a PC to play music or ask about weather conditions.

The feature will be even more useful when Microsoft matures a plan to make Windows 10 PCs hubs for smart homes, with users being able to use Cortana to operate electrical appliances.

That's just one of many developments Intel is planning for PCs. Intel is working with Microsoft on its wire-free PC initiative, with high-speed WiGig wireless connection being used to connect PCs to peripherals. Intel also said it would bring its Optane premium memory to PCs by the end of 2017.

Intel is also aggressively pushing for LTE receivers to be installed in laptops and hybrid tablet devices, with the ultimate goal to bring 5G to all devices.

The new 5G deployments are expected by 2020 and could bring new forms of long and short-distance communications to devices. Intel is developing modems for 5G connectivity.

Intel will face a considerable challenge in 5G devices from Qualcomm, whose ARM-based chips will also be available for Windows 10 PCs in the second half of next year.

Qualcomm's Snapdragron 835 processor, which will be installed in PCs, already has integrated modems.

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