Cortana has some legs to her, and this year we’ve already seen Microsoft’s voice-powered assistant spread beyond her Windows Phone roots to not only the Windows desktop, but also to competing mobile platforms – she’s out for Android now, with iOS set to follow later this year. Beyond that, we’ve also heard about efforts to get Cortana into some additional kinds of devices, like last year’s news about Windows Phone in the car. Now we’re learning a little more about how automotive Cortana integration could work, as Microsoft’s Asia-Pacific Research and Development Group talks about its connected-car prototype.
Rather than just offering an in-dash interface like we see from Android Auto or Apple CarPlay, Microsoft is looking at an advanced system that could include a heads-up display appearing on the car’s windshield, accepting voice commands and giving drivers visual feedback without forcing them to take their eyes off the road.
Right now, the system’s a little too expensive to be practical – but Microsoft says that it’s working with companies in Taiwan to see about what might be possible on a slightly more affordable scale. That may mean some big changes before anything’s ready to go commercial, but it’s still good to hear just how ambitious Microsoft’s being here – could an auto-integrated Cortana be the big hook that finally convinces drivers of the value of the connected car?