REDMOND, WA- Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT) The software giant announced that its digital assistant, Cortana, will be soon entering your car.
A few days after Google announcing its self-driving cars project, Microsoft stepped up yesterday at a forum in Taipei (TechDays), and publicized a new project as well, according to which Cortana, the company’s famous virtual assistant, will take care of everything inside the car, so that the drivers can sit back and enjoy the ride.
According to Samuel Shen, the chief operating officer of Microsoft Asia-Pacific Research and Development Group, a prototype has already been designed but, unfortunately, it has not been presented to the public view yet:
“We have not launched similar products due to the high cost, but we hope to have further discussions with Taiwanese partners to jointly explore future possibilities,”
For the time being, Cortana has the ability to set reminders, make restaurant recommendations, display sports results and find out weather conditions.
But interestingly enough, with this new project – called “Windows in the Car” – Microsoft plans to integrate the Cortana-navigation into the windscreen. All the driver has to do then, is ask for a specific location and a list will appear on the windscreen.
This is not a start from the scratch concept for Microsoft. In 2014, the company had announced a nearly similar feature (though there was no voice control involved in that one), which basically allows the Windows Phone to take over the display panel in the car.
So the skillset for the feature announced yesterday already exists. The real reason that Microsoft dumped the project was due to the manufacturing cost which was prohibitively high.
However, now the firm is on the search for the help from Taiwanese partners, but no names were given to the public. Not that it would make a hell of a difference.
What matters the most is that such a new technology could be a game-changer, both for Microsoft and a plethora of other companies who seek to reach out to a wider range of consumers.