Last night, Harman Kardon posted a product page for its upcoming Cortana-powered smart speaker, the Invoke, giving it a full reveal. Unsurprisingly, the device got a formal announcement from Microsoft and Harman Kardon today.
There isn't much new in the announcement that wasn't on the product page that was discovered last night. The smart speaker will come in Pearl Silver (White) and Graphite (Black), and it "has a sleek, modern design that enhances any home."
The design is similar to that of an Amazon Echo, or one of the third-party alternatives out there, like the Lenovo Smart Assistant, for which there's also a Harman Kardon variant. But while we know that the Lenovo device will cost $179.99, we still don't have any pricing on the Invoke, and while we reached out to Microsoft, the company wouldn't share the price at this time.
The Invoke will be able to "play your favorite music, manage calendars and activities, set reminders, check traffic, deliver the latest news and much more." There will also be Skype integration, so you'll be able to use it to make voice calls to landlines and "other Skype-enabled devices."
There will be seven microphones embedded in the device, which are used for far-field voice recognition, similar to how the Amazon Echo and Google Home work, and it's how they can hear you from across the room. The firm says that it uses "Harman’s beam forming, echo cancellation, and noise reduction algorithms to ensure Cortana can hear you, even in challenging environments."
And of course, it will include Harman Kardon's "high-quality sound", with "3 woofers and 3 tweeters [giving] full range, true 360-degree sound. The 2 passive radiators are tuned to give a solid bass performance from a small enclosure."
Coming this fall, it wouldn't be surprising at all if we learn more about the Invoke and possibly other Cortana-powered smart speakers at Microsoft's Build 2017 developer conference, which kicks off on Wednesday. Neowin will be there, so make sure to check back in.
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