Admittedly, Cortana is a latecomer to the game of personal assistant software, but Microsoft’s answer to Siri and Google Voice just might have a fighting chance. Coupled with all the changes and initiatives happening within the company, Cortana’s future looks bright, and in the near future, you may even get to use her to control your mood lights – if you’re into that kind of thing.

I think we can all agree  that home automation is the future, and we’re already seeing the beginnings of this with the likes of Belkin’s WeMo home automation system. This system basically uses a smartphone as the controller for every home electronic device that is connected, making it easy for the user to manage everything from lights to airconditioning to alarm systems.

home automation

Now what if you can do all that using Cortana? (Assuming you’re using a Windows Phone, of course.)

A group of motivated hackers at have played around with the newest personal assistant software in town, and they have succeeded in making her a home automation boss. From personal assistant to controller. How’s that for a step up?

What the guys have done is to take advantage of their backend, which is actually for the Internet of Things (makes even more sense now, right?) and used voice commands (via Cortana) to control simple home automation tasks.

So far, they have used Cortana to turn lamps on and off and to print out a basic grocery list.

That may not seem so impressive at this point, but imagine when things really get going and applications extend to controlling the brightness of your lights (that’s crucial when watching a movie at night). We might even get to the “stuff sci-fi is made of” point where we use voice commands to load profiles for lighting, music, and temperature in one word. No need to clap your hands a certain number of times to do so…

This is just the beginning, but it seems Cortana might have something her counterparts at Google and Apple may not have. Yet.

Are you excited at the possibilities that this presents, or do you feel meh about it?

[Image via wpcentral]