Cortana Is Getting Multi-User Voice Recognition Support

Posted on December 11, 2018 by Mehedi Hassan in Games, Windows, Windows 10, Xbox One with 16 Comments

Cortana is getting support for multiple users sometime soon. Microsoft has seemingly published the setup process for the new multi-user experience, which is supposed to deliver a personalized experience for users who share a Cortana device with others in their family depending on their voice.

Cortana will allow users to add up to 6 users on each device. The “main” owner of the device will first have to teach Cortana their voice by asking the assistant on a Cortana-powered device, like the Harman Kardon Invoke, to learn their voice using. Once that’s done, other users will be able to set up their voice and accounts on the device.

After everything is set up, users will get access to their personalized content, including things like email, calendar, music, and reminders. Cortana will be able to detect your voice and deliver these personalized results. Microsoft does warn that if someone has a voice similar to yours, they may get access to your personal data.

It’s not clear exactly when the new feature will go live for everyone, though I do believe Microsoft has been working on this feature for a while. It is meant to work on more than just Cortana-powered speakers, so you will be able to get multi-users set up on devices like the Xbox One as well. Right now, when trying to get Cortana to learn my voice, it simply performs a web search but that’ll probably change once the feature is live.

Thanks for the tip, Greg!

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Comments (16)

16 responses to “Cortana Is Getting Multi-User Voice Recognition Support”

  1. mikefarinha

    I see the setup for my Xbox One, but not yet for my Invoke. Hopefully soon.

  2. MattHewitt

    Now two users in the family can ask Cortana to open Alexa!

  3. Noel

    I've been waiting for something like this. It's been rumoured for awhile. It's going to make things alot easier for my family.

  4. SvenJ

    Hope it works better than the feature on Echo. Alexa never seems to get it right.

  5. dcdevito

    Super imperative for a corporate environment, I'd say

  6. dontbe evil

    good job MS … unfortunately they're not pushing cortana to consumers as she deserve … thanks nadella

  7. WiseOldElf

    are there six people still using Cortana ?

  8. Jeffsters

    Big miss for Apple and HomePod!

  9. Bats

    Welcome to 2017 Cortana!

  10. Stooks

    I thought Cortana was being scrapped????

  11. m_p_w_84

    Cortana development must be a lonely and deeply unstatisfying life.

  12. gregsedwards

    For what it's worth, I think this feature is long overdue, but I'm a bit torn about the implementation. I mean, technically Cortana already has multi-user support on Windows 10 PCs, provided that each user logs in with a separate Microsoft account. ?

    But obviously, this is a play to get Cortana into the mainstream consumer space in a way that's competitive with Alexa and Google Assistant. It just seems a bit ham-fisted how they're going at it. I mean, if I go into my Cortana app, because the Invoke (or whatever other smart devices they inevitably try to shoehorn in here, you just know it's coming) is registered to my MSA, then I have to train it again to recognize my voice? I already did that when I set up Cortana on my PC! Why isn't this stuff synced between my devices? And other users in my household presumably have to set it up on a per-device basis as well. I mean, if we're already in a Microsoft family together, then why not just let me choose primary/secondary users for each device and be done with it? Same with Xbox consoles or honestly, PCs or phones for that matter.

    It's getting a bit weird having Cortana become some kind of smart device hub. I already have to use the Cortana app to configure my Invokes, my Glas thermostat, and my Surface Headphones. And now it looks like Xbox may be coming into the fold as well. I'm just not sure how much of this the Cortana app can bear. Maybe we need a Microsoft Account app just for user/device/content management.

  13. ponsaelius

    Given the invoke is a US only device and this feature is most useful in a home as a smart speaker it seems this feature is US only.

    If Microsoft had a consumer strategy then this new ability would have more impact than it does.

  14. plm

    Any update on this? I haven't seen or heard anything.

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