Audio driver update brings “Hey Cortana” wake-on-voice feature to Surface Studio

2 minute read

You can now wake your Surface Studio up just by yelling at the device, thanks to a new set of drivers Microsoft released for the all-in-one PC. The new drivers bring the “Wake on Voice from Modern Standby” feature to the Surface Studio, powered by Intel’s sixth-generation Skylake CPUs.

The Skylake processor works to listen to voice commands even if a device is in screen-off, low-power, or standby state modes. Many machines with this chipset have been available for quite some time now. It relies solely on certain manufacturers, however, whether to enable the functionality.

As for the Surface Studio, Microsoft released new Realtek audio drivers that allow you to say “Hey Cortana” to wake up the all-in-one PC even when it is in Modern Standby mode. That mode is specific to the Skylake and later CPUs as well as to Windows 10. The “Hey Cortana” command support is also available in other devices including the Xbox One that runs the latest Windows 10 build, Windows 10 Mobile devices, and the upcoming Harmon Kardon speaker.

It can be recalled that the “Hey Cortana” command was also available in the Windows 10 Anniversary Update, but only required fully powered-up PCs for the feature to work.

If you have not upgraded to the Windows 10 Creators Update, however, the updated drivers won’t be coming to your Surface Studio. Provided you have done so, go to the Surface Studio Drivers and Firmware page, select the Download button, and click on the MSI installation file or the new drivers. Select the drivers meant for the Creators Update (build 15063) and click Next. Run the program after downloading and installing the appropriate Realtek audio drivers.

The new functionality is expected to play a major role in Microsoft’s plan to introduce home automation systems.

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