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Microsoft goes toe-to-toe against IFTTT with a voice-command alternative
For those not in the know, IFTTT (short for “IF This Then That”) is an online service that promises to let you “put the internet to work for you.” You can chain together conditions that let you manage social media, control your smart home without tedious interaction, or create a slew of possible interdependencies limited only by your creativity. Now it looks like Microsoft is wanting to edge in on the automation action with their new system CAP.
CAP stands for Conditional Action Programmer. While it has a name only a technician could love, it sets itself apart from IFTTT in a very particular way. CAP has integrated voice commands to their system, allowing it to understand and set into place elaborate chains by listening to simple verbal instructions.
For instance, if you wanted to receive a text message notification every time it was about to rain in your area, you would have to do quite a bit of clicking with IFTTT. You would need to find the Weather channel, stipulate the condition that rain was inbound, then connect that to the SMS channel and create a form text for you to receive. That’s not really very complicated, but with CAP, all you have to do is say aloud, “Send me a text every time it’s about to rain.”
Microsoft is really putting into play everything that they’ve learned over the last few years with Cortana, their voice-commanded virtual assistant. By integrating voice controls with cross-platform automation, Microsoft demonstrates that they – like Google – are a company that believes our future relationship with technology will be conversational.
our future relationship with technology will be conversational.
It’s worth noting that the Silicon Valley giant will be using your information to improve CAP. If you’re particularly concerned about the privacy of your information, you might balk upon signing up for CAP that your “data may be retained by Microsoft for up to 1 year for product improvement purposes.”
CAP’s homepage indicates the existence of an Android app in the Google Play Store, but so far we’re not seeing it. If you manage to track it down, let us know in the comments! Also chime in regarding your opinion of Microsoft’s IFTTT competitor. If it works like they say it does, will it be enough to coax you away from the familiar warmth of IFTTT?