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Skylake has a voice DSP and listens to your commands

Andy Patrizio | Aug. 24, 2015
This is the kind of thing that freaked out Xbox One users.

Intel's new Skylake processor has a feature people will either love or hate. It comes with a built-in digital signal processor (DSP) that will allow you to turn on and control your PC with your voice.

This is not new. Gizmodo notes the Core M processor released last year had the feature as well. The problem was there was no voice controlled app to use it.

Enter Windows 10 and Cortana. Now you can say "Hey Cortana" or "Cortana, wake up" to get your Windows 10 machine running, presuming you have a microphone attached, which anyone with a digital camera does. And thanks to Windows Hello, the camera will recognize you and log you on. So you can fire up your PC without ever touching it.

Sound familiar? A few years back when the Xbox One was still in development, word came that Kinect, its motion and audio sensor controller, would be required to use the console and Kinect would always be listening for voice commands to start the console.

This caused something of a freak-out among gamers, who feared Microsoft would be listening. The fact that gamers started getting banned from Xbox Live for swearing while playing only reinforced that fear, because how in the world did Microsoft know they were swearing in their own living room?

And if that's not enough to light your paranoia, consider that Edward Snowden revealed that the government has found a way to tap into Web cams sitting on top of computer monitors or laptop screens and activate them without the in-use light ever coming on.

On the flip side, who wouldn't want their own J.A.R.V.I.S.?

Intel didn't say if special hardware would be needed, beyond a webcam, of course. Skylake is only just starting to ship, with a few models for gamers and hobbyists hitting the market. A larger launch is expected soon. It had been rumored that IDF would be the launch time frame but that hasn't happened.


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