Harman Kardon Invoke smart speaker brings Cortana to your living room

Harman Kardon Invoke smart speaker brings Cortana to your living room

The teaser video had shown off a Harman Kardon speaker powered by the smarts of Redmond's uber-cool voice assistant - Cortana.

Microsoft wants in on the Google Home and Amazon Echo party.

Microsoft teamed up with Harman Kardon to give Invoke the ability to play music, check traffic, listen to the latest news reports, control smart home thermostats, set calendar appointments and much more. Last but not least, consumers will have to set up the Invoke speaker by using the Cortana app on Windows 10, Windows 10 Mobile, iOS or Android.

Now, it's fair to see this speaker for what it is: An answer to the Google Home and Amazon Echo.

Okay, it's not Microsoft exactly, but Harman Kardon's Invoke, announced Monday and coming this fall, is the first stand-alone hardware devoted to the Microsoft's chatty AI. Its plans to do so are expected this week during its annual developer conference, called BUILD, which starts Wednesday.

The arrival of Invoke this fall could mark a turning point for Microsoft Cortana, the mostly Windows 10-bound voice assistant that's primarily used as text-based search (almost no one is talking to their PCs).

More news: Delhi Metro fares hiked by up to 66 per cent

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

At the heart of Invoke is Cortana, your personal digital assistant, helping you stay on top of what's important.

It also uses Harman's beam forming, echo cancellation, and noise reduction algorithms to ensure Cortana can hear you, even in challenging environments.

The speakers will be outfitted with Harman's Sonique far-field voice recognition technology.

HARMAN (harman.com) designs and engineers connected products and solutions for automakers, consumers, and enterprises worldwide, including connected auto systems, audio and visual products, enterprise automation solutions; and services supporting the Internet of Things. Microsoft, Cortana and Skype are trademarks of the Microsoft group of companies. People can even make calls through the speaker with the help of Skype.

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