After an early glimpse through a pre-release page, which was taken down soon after, Harman Kardon's Cortana-powered Invoke speaker has now been officially launched by the company. While we already got to know that the speaker would be shipping in Fall this year, the company has still not shared the exact release date or the pricing.
As we mentioned in our earlier report, Harman Kardon's Invoke speaker is powered by Microsoft's Cortana digital assistant, offers 360-degree sound, and has the ability to make and receive calls via Skype, and other things that you might expect from Cortana. The new Harman Kardon speaker is cylindrical in shape and has some resemblance to Amazon's Echo speaker, thanks to a circular ring at the top.
"Invoke brings together Harman Kardon's audio heritage with Cortana by Microsoft, resulting in a beautifully designed speaker for the home. Crafted from premium materials, Invoke's striking metallic speaker cabinet delivers power and projects sound at full 360-degrees, revealing every beautiful detail in your music," the company says on the product page on its website.
The Invoke speaker comes with 3 woofers and 3 tweeters that allow it to deliver 360-degree sound. "Invoke, with Cortana, is a voice-activated speaker that can play your favourite music, manage calendars and activities, set reminders, check traffic, deliver the latest news and much more," the company said in its release. The Invoke speaker will be made available in Pearl Silver and Graphite colours.
The voice-activated Invoke speaker comes with Smart Home Control feature that allows it to adjust smart home devices including lights, thermostat, and more but the home automation will only be supported by select providers, as per Harman.
Apart from Cortana, the Invoke speaker comes with Harman's "Sonique" far-field voice recognition technology. "It is a proprietary 360-degree adaptive technology (featuring 7 microphones) that recognizes all details of voice commands even in environments with high ambient noise," the company said. If you are interested in the Cortana-powered Invoke speaker, you can register for the product from Harman Kardon's website.
In a statement announcing the Harmon Kardon Invoke speaker, Microsoft said, "We want Cortana to be available wherever you may need assistance being more productive, and the Invoke speaker from Harman Kardon is our next step in getting there. With natural language recognition and deep integration with Microsoft's suite of knowledge and productivity tools, Cortana is the most productive digital assistant and already used by more than 145 million people on PC and mobile devices. With Invoke, Cortana now becomes available in the home, making her even more valuable."
The Redmond-based company is expected to share more information about the speakers at its Build conference that will start from Wednesday.
We will have to wait and see if Microsoft's Cortana and Harman Kardon's expertise in sound is able to make the Invoke speaker stand out from the ever-increasing crowd of artificial intelligence-powered speakers.