Satechi's $23 'Cortana button' brings the digital assistant to your car or countertop

The Bluetooth-connected button can call up Microsoft's virtual assistant with minimal effort and will be available in late August.

cortanabutton

Once you’ve experienced Cortana in Windows 10, you might wish there were an easier way to summon the virtual assistant.

Satechi could have you covered in late August, when it’s planning to ship a dedicated “Cortana button.” The palm-sized hardware button connects via Bluetooth to a Windows 10 PC or Windows phone, and initiates Cortana’s voice-command prompt with a press.

The idea is to place the button in a convenient location, such as on a car steering wheel for Windows phone users, or on the counter for a PC in your kitchen. That way, you can get directions, check the weather, or schedule calendar appointments when your PC or Windows phone is out of reach. (The button even looks a bit like Cortana’s circular blue avatar; we’ll see how well that goes over with Microsoft’s legal team.)

The button uses a standard CR2016 coin cell battery and should last for about two years on a charge. It offers Bluetooth range of up to 40 feet, and comes with both a sticker and a mount for attaching it to a car steering wheel or bike handlebar. 

Satechi says it’ll ship the Cortana button in late August for $23, with availability on its own website and Amazon.com.

Why this matters: Granted, you don’t need a Bluetooth button to activate Cortana remotely, as Windows 10 lets you initiate a voice command by yelling “Hey Cortana.” However, we’ve heard that turning on this feature can drain a laptop’s battery life. A proper Cortana button could be welcome alternative if you find yourself increasingly dependent upon Microsoft’s virtual assistant.

This story, "Satechi's $23 'Cortana button' brings the digital assistant to your car or countertop" was originally published by PCWorld.

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