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Cortana will let you wake up your PC with voice activation thanks to the new Intel Skylake processors

Cortana will let you wake up your PC with voice activation thanks to the new Intel Skylake processors

by AshwinAugust 19, 2015

Microsoft’s personal digital assistant Cortana, is one of the key components of Windows 10.


She can not only search your computer for files, but also the web for weather, news, and can even set reminders.

Of course, Cortana’s most important feature, is the ability to respond to voice-commands, and execute actions which you would have otherwise needed to type manually.

But, there is a catch to how Cortana works on PCs. You need the computer to be awake, for Cortana to respond to a voice command. That is not a hurdle any more, thanks to the new processors from Intel. The world’s most popular chip maker, released a new line of processors this month called the Intel Skylake. These are Intel’s 6th Gen processors, and the successors to the 5th Gen Broadwell.

What’s special in the Skylake processors, are that they have a digital signal processor embedded in the chip. This component can detect your voice, thanks to its voice activation technology. What happens when a Intel Skylake CPU and Cortana meet?

Apparently, Microsoft’s personal digital assistant can wake up the computer from its power-saving sleep mode, when you say the hotwords: “Hey Cortana” or “Cortana, wake up”. The digital signal process will recognise the command, which in turn enables Cortana, to rouse the PC from its slumber, following which you can give the usual commands to Cortana.

The Verge reports that it is unclear on how much power the processor would consume to use its “always listening mode”, since Intel has not mentioned the information regarding the standby power of the new chips. It also remains to be seen whether any external device would be required for using the “voice activation” feature. Frankly, it does sound both cool and a little creepy.

Sometimes, I just wonder where technology is heading to. In today’s world of smartphones and tablets, touchscreens are replacing many old machines, but it isn’t something you can stop. USB Type-C which debuted in this year’s Macbook, is the current craze amongst the tech savvy with smartphones adopting the new tech.

A day may come, when we will no longer need to use a keyboard or a mouse to use a computer. It may all go completely touchscreen, or even by driven by voice command technologies, such as Cortana. But even if that may be a distant dream,  I think nothing will replace the joy of using our beloved peripherals of old.