Harman Kardon reveals Invoke, a Cortana-powered connected speaker

Randall Craig
May 9, 2017

Harman Kardon was bought by Samsung late previous year.

The Invoke looks similar to Amazon's Echo, though the cylindrical shape tapers toward the top.

After a brief tease a year ago, we've just gotten a better look at the Harman Kardon Invoke, a Microsoft Cortana-powered speaker coming soon to challenge Amazon Echo and Google Home.

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. It will be the first device of its kind to offer Skype integration, according to the companies - the latest example of Microsoft better leveraging its varied assets in new products.

After a leak this morning, Harman Kardon's Cortana-powered speaker has now been officially announced.

The Harman Kardon Invoke will be available in Pearl Silver and Graphite. To set it up you'll need Cortana on Windows 10, Windows 10 Mobile, Android, or iPhone. "This is our next step in bringing Cortana to even more devices to help users be more productive wherever they are".

Called Invoke the device uses Cortana's natural language recognition and deep integration combined with Microsoft's suite of knowledge and productivity tools in a bid to take on Amazon's Alexa

Make and receive hands-free calls to cell phones, landlines, and any Skype-enabled device.

The Invoke is crafted with premium materials and the metallic speaker cabinet is capable of delivering sound at full 360-degrees. Neither Microsoft nor Harmon Kardon have said how much Invoke will cost, only that it will be released later this year. The Invoke will be available in the United States at select retailers and Microsoft Stores in fall 2017, but there is still no word on pricing yet. Once invoked, certain skills can manipulate Cortana to begin a conversation between it and the user, it adds. It can also be used to set reminders, check the traffic on your way to work, and control connected appliances in your smart home.

Cortana -Personal Digital Assistant: Cortana is your truly personal digital assistant created to help you be more productive.

Dave Rogers, Harman's senior vice president of consumer audio, said the Invoke will have superior audio quality, an area where the consumer electronics maker has expertise.

Invoke is outfitted with HARMAN's SONIQUEâ„¢ far-field voice recognition technology.

Amazon's Echo also uses Bing when it can't answer a question itself, but can order things from Amazon by voice as its flagship feature.

Other reports by Ligue1talk

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