“Cortana, wake up.” Seriously, that’s it. Say those words to a snoozing Windows 10 computer with a sixth-generation Intel Core processor, and it will wake right up from sleep. That’s because the new Intel Skylake processors will always be listening for that command, thanks to a low-power digital signal processor (DSP) built right into the chip.
(Technically, the feature was already included in last year’s Core M chips, but Windows 10 and Cortana weren’t yet here to take advantage of it.)
We just saw a demonstration of the feature on stage at the Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco today, and while it might not seem like such a groundbreaking feature if you’ve ever owned a Moto X smartphone — whose Google Now voice assistant about government entities spying on you, that is.)
Hell, combine this with Windows Hello and a 3D camera, and you’ll be able to turn on your computer AND securely unlock it without lifting a finger.
Intel didn’t say whether the feature would require any special audio hardware built into the computer — such as dual microphones with beamforming support — but I’d hope not. Cortana’s a classy lady who prefers high-end audio hardware, sure, but her normal Windows 10 incarnation doesn’t have too much trouble with crappy off-the-shelf microphones.