Interesting Cortana hands-on video


I just came across this Cortana hands-on video, which I think is very interesting, as it explores things that most of the other Cortana demos don't show.

  • Cortana is good at dealing with situations in which she can't answer a question or complete a task. Seems like she rarely says "sorry, I don't get it", instead she offers results that might come close to what the user wanted ("Read me some Shakespear" brings up search results for "Shakespear"), and chooses her words appropriately ("Maybe the information below will help"), or she specifically asks about the part she didn't get to finally get it right ("which contact?"). This is a much better way of doing it than offering wrong results pretending she understood the command, or not offering any results at all.
  • The video shows how you can search on the phone via Cortana. She can search text and mail by contacts and by content, as well as music, appointments, etc.
  • Speech recognition seems to have less issues with some accents than with others. Cortana does impressively well with certain "foreign" accents, whereas British accents seem to cause more issues.
  • She knows terms such as "Mom" without you having to define it as a nickname for your mother.
  • When Cortana shows you a people related reminder, you can tap "next time", so she keeps the reminder for the next time you interact with that contact.
  • You can search the web for specific types of content, such as pictures ("Show me pictures of brown dogs").
  • Asking about the nearest "healthy restaurant" brings up "Smoothie King" as a result. Although I wouldn't call that a restaurant, I think it's impressive how she knows that smoothies are healthy. Do you think Cortana simply found the keyword "healthy" on Smoothie King's Yelp page, or does she know that smoothies are related to healthy food?