While Windows 10 marks Cortana's arrival on the desktop, Microsoft's natural language processing personal assistant is missing a button, at least according to Los Angeles-based accessory manufacturer Satechi. The company's BT Cortana Button uses Bluetooth to activate both desktop and mobile implementations of the assistant, making this marquee feature of Windows 10 just a single click away, even if you're across the room.
The BT Cortana Button is small enough to fit in your palm, and comes with a 3M sticker for securing it to vertical surfaces or onto a ceiling. Whether that's for your steering wheel or handlebars this is a fine solution for those moments when you need to find the nearest gas station or directions when you're lost. Powered by a CR2016 coin-style battery that Satechi claims lasts for up to 2 years, the button will be available late August 2015 for $22.99 from the company's online store as well as on Amazon.
While Cortana can be roused to assist by yelling "Hey Cortana!" that only works if you enable your device to always be listening for that command. Not only does that burn more of your battery life, but also some users may not want their computer constantly eavesdropping on them.
Ordinarily, activating the assistant application requires actions or gestures more complicated than a simple press of a button. Desktop users need to click on the Cortana button in the task menu or hit one of the two-key shortcuts to open the assistant. Mobile device users have to tap and hold the search button for Cortana to be triggered.
Toshiba's latest laptops will come with a Cortana key on their keyboards, but that won't help you if you're standing on the other side of the livingroom.