Microsoft’s Windows 10 will come with a feature that will let you switch on your computer by saying “Cortana, wake up,” rather than physically reaching for a button.
The feature will be available for users who have computers that that have a Skylake processor from Intel. Skylake has a new, always-on, low-power digital signal processor (DSP) within the chip that listens out for a user’s voice constantly.
On its own, this technology is useless but when paired with Cortana in Windows 10 it means that users will be able to wake their computer from sleep with their voices. (The feature will work only as long as your machine is in “sleep” mode. If you switch it off, it’s off for good.)
While this has been possible before — the Moto X and Xbox One have both had similar features — waking a computer without having to touch it could prove useful, especially when paired with Windows Hello, a feature that allows the user to log in just by looking into a Web cam, and a Kinect-style experience that would make the keyboard and mouse — and by extension the need to sit at a computer — redundant.
There is no word on whether new hardware — dual microphones, for example — will be required to utilise this feature but Cortana has traditionally been happy with poor quality laptop microphones so we assume not.