Harman Kardon's Cortana-powered Echo rival makes Skype calls

Ken Copeland
May 9, 2017

After a brief tease previous year, 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.

Brad revealed Harmon Kardon's secret website for its Cortana-powered Invoke smart speaker earlier today.

The new Devices submenu within Cortana advertises how to set up the new Invoke speaker, connecting it to popular music apps including Microsoft Groove, iHeartRadio, Pandora, TuneIn, and Spotify.

While the landing page doesn't give a definitive launch date, it does note that the Invoke will be available from "fall 2017".

Cortana: Cortana is your truly personal digital assistant created to help you be more productive. The audio company has already confirmed that it will launch a speaker called the Invoke through a dedicated webpage. Microsoft first tipped that a smart speaker in collaboration with Harman Kardon was in the works back in December of a year ago.

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What you tell Cortana through Invoke will show up on your other Windows devices.

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.

Users will have a choice between Pearl Silver and Graphite, however the device will only be available in the USA sometime this fall. Once invoked, certain skills can manipulate Cortana to begin a conversation between it and the user, it adds. The Invoke is Harman Kardon's first attempt to enter this market, explore emerging assistance technology, and attract new customers.

It also uses Harman's beam forming, echo cancellation, and noise reduction algorithms to ensure Cortana can hear you, even in challenging environments. Microsoft, Cortana and Skype are trademarks of the Microsoft group of companies. Since then, Microsoft has made it available on Android and iOS phones, desktops and laptops using Windows 10, and even the Xbox One. According to Thurrott's report the cylinder speaker has a light ring on top, 360 degree sound and supports Skype calling and the ability to ask Cortana questions.

Other reports by Guamnewswatch

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