Invoke Cortana-powered speaker

Lynne Hanson
May 9, 2017

Harman Kardon's Invoke speaker, the Microsoft Cortana-powered answer to the Google Home and Amazon Echo, will ship this fall according to a preview page with the first official images of the tabletop device. The Invoke smart speaker, manufactured by Samsung-owned Harman Kardon, will be exclusive to the United States and requires a Windows 10 PC or smartphone with Microsoft's Cortana app in order to work. By partnering with Skype (which, like Cortana, is owned by Microsoft), the Invoke will support Skype, phone and landline calls. Microsoft shared a year ago that the Cortana Devices SDK was then in private preview and would be made available more broadly in 2017.

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

As for the features, the Invoke speaker is powered by Harman Kardon's legacy audio technology and projects sound at 360 degrees. So the already smart and flexible Cortana will likely be able to expand her capabilities in the months running up to the Harman Kardon Invoke launch.

Microsoft's voice assistant, named Cortana, will power the device.

Like the Amazon Echo, far-field voice recognition technology with seven microphones will allow the speaker to recognize commands event from across a crowded room.

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Harman Kardon wants those interested in the Invoke to register for notifications.

The biggest edge the Invoke will have over the Echo and Home will be its voice calling.

Pricing details have yet to be announced.

Harman's product is also notable because of its potential for audio quality.

For Microsoft, the Invoke aids the company's long-term plans for its Cortana assistant. It will only be available in the USA and must be paired with a phone running iOS 8.0 or higher, Android 4.1.2 or higher, or the Windows 10 Mobile Creators Update. Big tech companies like Microsoft, Amazon, and Google have invested millions of dollars in their respective digital assistants, which they believe will be a major way that consumers will interact with computers-joining the standard keyboard, mouse, and touchscreen.

Other reports by TheDailyFarc

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