Microsoft Introduces Its Own Siri—Cortana

March 3, 2014 by Staff - Leave a comment


When Windows Phone users get the upcoming 8.1 update, the Bing search feature will be replaced by a personal digital assistant similar to Apple’s Siri. Its name? Cortana.

Although this feature is named after the AI from the Halo series, Cortana doesn’t share her appearance, but instead appears as a circle, with speaking/thinking animations. On the other hand, there are rumors that the Halo voice actor for Cortana will provide the voice of this Cortana as well. You can customize how Cortana addresses you, whether you want it to use your name or call you by a nickname. You can also make sure it pronounces your name correctly.

Cortana will use a Notebook feature to store and access data, and you can choose to let it keep track of information from your emails, as well. It also will use data from services like Bing and Foursquare. In this way, it acts as a combination of Siri and Google Now.

Xbox One players are hopeful Cortana will be used in conjunction with the Kinect’s voice recognition features, and that it could be used to set up and navigate the console. While Microsoft hasn’t said anything about such a plan, this would fit with their goal of allowing players to connect all of their media with the Xbox One.

We can’t be sure that Microsoft is going to keep the name Cortana for the finished product, although that would certainly be cool. We’ll let you know as soon as we learn more. In the meantime, check out some of these shots of Cortana in action, including the line, “I’m absorbing the entire internet. Won’t take long now,” which suggests a sense of humor and playfulness behind this feature.

Thanks, The Verge.

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Xbox One voice commands quick reference guide

November 24, 2013 by Staff - Leave a comment


There’s probably a lot more voice commands that your Xbox One will understand and that you’re not aware of, and thanks to UpstartDuke we can bring to you the voice command cheat sheet below. Feel free to download, print it out and use it as a handy quick reference guide. Then over time you should need to refer to it less and less. TV, app and Skype commands are also included – you might even discover new features/things your console is capable of and that you didn’t know about!

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Voice commands possible on PS4 without camera

November 17, 2013 by Staff - Leave a comment


It turns out that you don’t necessarily need one of the new Playstation Eye cameras to use voice commands on the Playstation 4, it will quite happily do what you tell it to provided you use at least one set of the following magic words…

  1. PlayStation, go home – head back to the PS4 home screen
  2. PlayStation, take screenshot – take a screenshot
  3. PlayStation, log in – logs you in to PSN
  4. PlayStation, power, standby – enter the PS4 into standby mode
  5. PlayStation, [game name] – launch the relevant game

So there you go, it will be interesting to see if it turns out the Xbox One can also receive and respond to some voice commands with the Kinect. We haven’t heard of this being possible yet, but you never know once the device hits the general gaming public this Friday and people start exploring!

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PS4 voice commands very limited at launch

November 11, 2013 by Staff - Leave a comment


Kinect is a big feature/accessory for the Xbox One. Microsoft has been talking it up since debuting the console and even ensured that every Xbox One sold comes with one (which is possibly the reason for the price difference between the PS4 and X1). Similarly, voice commands are expected to be a big part of using the Xbox One.

The Playstation 4, on the other hand, does not come bundled with a PS4 Eye camera – it’s something you’re gonna have to buy separately. Sony also seem to be less focused on integrating the device with the console system, at least at this stage. While the Xbox One with Kinect can handle a multitude of commands, those that the PS4 and Eye camera will recognize are pretty limited.

For instance, you won’t be able to turn on or “wake” your PS4 from standby mode using voice nor will you be able to control media functions (like in Netflix). We do know however that you’ll be able to turn the console off using your voice and also launch games.

Of course it’s highly unlikely that Sony won’t improve on integration between the two via future system updates. Whether it will be able to catch up to Microsoft (and also encourage third party app vendors to make use of it too) remains to be seen.

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PS4 Camera to support voice commands

September 1, 2013 by Staff - 1 Comment


Most gamers know that the Kinect 2.0 on the Xbox One supports facial recognition and voice commands. Everyone must have heard the phrase “Xbox on” by now… The thing is that Sony has been pretty quiet on exactly what the new PS4 camera will be able to do, until now.

If you check out the Youtube clip below, about 5:34 in to be exact, the following text is clearly visible:

From navigational voice commands to facial recognition, the PlayStation Camera adds incredible innovation to your gaming.

[youtube id=”1HVuinq4g7A” width=”600″ height=”350″]

We think it’s pretty strange that Sony hasn’t talked about this feature, at all, until now and has actually continued to remain tight-lipped about the whole thing even with the video above being made public. That said, we fully expect some sort of big announcement in the near future.

FYI the video was taken during a presentation made at the GameStop Expo in Las Vegas this week.

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