Cortana can do a lot, but it’s not as powerful as more mature voice assistants like Alexa or Google Home. But finally, Microsoft has added support for SmartHome devices so you can control Philips Hue, Samsung SmartThings, Nest, Insteon and Wink devices right from your PC.
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This is especially useful if you turn on «Hey Cortana» so you can treat your computer like an Amazon echo — that way you can turn devices on and off with a quick voice command, no click required.
NOTE. At the time of this writing, this feature is likely still in its early rollout, so if you don’t see it on your PC yet, check back soon — chances are it’s coming soon.
To connect the respective SmartHome accounts to Cortana, open the start menu and start typing something to open Cortana.
Click on the Notepad icon on the right sidebar (it’s the third one from the top). Find the entry for Connected Home and click on it.
You will be greeted by a spartan menu containing a single toggle: «Enable Connected Home». Move this switch to the «On» position.
You may be prompted to sign in to your Microsoft account — if so, do so now.
When this is done, you will be shown a list of compatible SmartHome ecosystems. At launch, Cortana supports Philips Hue, Samsung SmartThings, Nest, Insteon, and Wink. Click on one to set it up — we’ll use Hue as an example for this post.
On the next page, click the «Connect» button.