Harman Kardon's Cortana-powered speaker leaks ahead of launch

09 May, 2017, 00:51 | Author: Randy Kelley
  • Harman Kardon's Cortana-powered Echo rival makes Skype calls

Harman Kardon was bought by Samsung late previous year.

Like the Google Home and Amazon Echo, the Invoke is a cylindrical speaker housing which produces 360-degree sound.

In terms of playing music, we know from a recently discovered device setup app that the Invoke (and any Cortana-powered speaker) should have the ability to select which music app is the source for your music, meaning you can play music from Spotify, Pandora, and others.

When there is smoke there is fire, the adage says, and the recently published product page for the Cortana-powered speaker from Harman Kardon showed that the company was nearly ready to announce the new appliance.

Two colors. As Brad hinted at, the Invoke will come in two color choices: Graphite (Black) and Pearl Silver (White).

Cortana is said to be "the most productive digital assistant" by Microsoft and is now used by more than 145 million people on PC and mobile devices. Microsoft will also be talking up the Cortana Skills Kit at its Build conference in Seattle this week, aiming to get more-third-party developers extending the capabilities of Cortana-powered devices, as reported by Mary Jo Foley of ZDNet. The new device, which is now confirmed to be titled Invoke, is set to go up against the Google Home and Amazon Echo for control of your homes.

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The Invoke is crafted with premium materials and the metallic speaker cabinet is capable of delivering sound at full 360-degrees.

We don't have a price or exact release date for the Invoke, but we do know that the device will go on sale only in the United States at select retailers and Microsoft stores this fall.

The Invoke, which will debut this fall, comes more two years after the release of the Echo, which has sold more 11 million units through late last year, according to estimates by Morgan Stanley.

At the heart of Invoke is Cortana, your personal digital assistant, helping you stay on top of what's important. Meanwhile, the Invoke comes with Harman's Sonique far-field voice recognition tech, which employs seven microphones to help recognize voice commands even in high ambient noise.

Smart Home Control: Control your smart home devices including lights and thermostat and more. Since it's a Harman Kardon product, customers can expect sublime audio quality as well. As points of reference, Echo runs $180 (currently on sale for $150) while Google Home costs $129 (currently on sale for $114).

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