Lenovo today announced a new collaboration with Microsoft that will see Windows 10’s Siri challenger, Cortana, enhanced with a new propitiatory search platform. Dubbed REACHit, it will allow Cortana to search and locate difficult-to-find content across multiple devices and cloud services with a few spoken commands.
When coupled with REACHit, Cortana will act as a central search hub for your entire computing ecosystem. Users can search for photos, videos, documents and music across multiple cloud platforms and physical devices, including Google Drive, Dropbox, OneDrive and other Windows 10 PCs and tablets. (The vanilla version of Cortana can only search for files on the device currently being used and/or OneDrive.)
Users will be able to add location to searches, cross-referencing the file event with the location data to produce the most relevant results. Crucially, it will also support popular email and calendar services such as Gmail, Exchange, Outlook and Google Calendar.
Naturally, the platform benefits from Cortana’s contextual awareness and advanced speech recognition abilities — the user simply has to name the location of the desired file, the date when it was last modified or any other piece of information that can be used to conduct a meaningful search.
Lenovo showed off how the platform works during its Tech World conference in Beijing. During a live demo, Lenovo asked Cortana to find the files that had been last worked on at Starbucks last week. The exact date and file names weren’t mentioned. In a few seconds, Cortana retrieved the files.
“[We have] so much information that it can be extremely difficult to remember where it’s stored,” explained Mark Cohen, Lenovo’s vice president for Ecosystem and Cloud Services. “Cortana and REACHit [enable] people to find their personal content in a natural way, by asking a friend for help.”
This sort of thing is bound to be useful for people who regularly manipulate files across numerous devices — I’ve personally lost count of the number of times I’ve forgotten where I saved a story draft. Cortana and REACHit will be available as a beta during Windows 10’s official launch.
Gizmodo attended Tech World in Beijing as a guest of Lenovo.