Microsoft wants to open up the Cortana personal assistant to new devices and developers with the release of Cortana Skills Kit and the Cortana Devices SDK.
The Cortana Skills Kit is designed to help developers reach the audience of 145 million Cortana users, helping users get things done while driving discovery and engagement across platforms: Windows, Android, iOS, Xbox and new Cortana-powered devices.
The Cortana Devices SDK will allow OEMs and ODMs to create a new generation of smart, personal devices - on no screen or the big screen, in homes and on wheels.
Developers and device manufacturers can sign up today to receive updates as we move out of private preview.
The Cortana Skills Kit will allow developers to leverage bots created with the Microsoft Bot Framework and publish them to Cortana as a new skill, to integrate their web services as skills and to repurpose code from their existing Alexa skills to create Cortana skills. It will connect users to skills when users ask, and proactively present skills to users in the appropriate context. And it will help developers personalize their experiences by leveraging Cortana’s understanding of users’ preferences and context, based on user permissions.
Last week, Microsoft said that Cortana will be included in the IoT Core edition of the Windows 10 Creators Update, which powers IoT devices.
The next step in this journey is the Cortana Devices SDK, which makes Cortana available to all OEMs and ODMs to build smarter devices on all platforms.
It will carry Cortana’s promise in personal productivity everywhere and deliver real-time, two-way audio communications with Skype, Email, calendar and list integration.
Microsoft is working with partners across a range of industries and hardware categories, including some exciting work with connected cars. The devices SDK is designed for diversity, supporting cross platforms including Windows IoT, Linux, Android and more through open-source protocols and libraries.
One early device partner, Harman Kardon will have more news to share next year about their plans, but today provided a sneak peek at their new device coming in 2017.
The Cortana Devices SDK is currently in private preview and will be available more broadly in 2017.