Amazon Echo is getting competition from the audio bigwigs. A day after Bose announced its pretty little SoundLink Revolve speakers, which are compatible with Google Assistant and Apple’s Siri, Harman Kardon has launched Invoke, a speaker powered by Microsoft’s Cortana.
The Invoke follows Harman Kardon’s design aesthetics. It’s a cylindrical shape with a larger circumference at the base. This 360-degree speaker has a seven-microphone array built-in – similar to the Amazon Echo. Of course, where Amazon lags behind in audio quality, Harman Kardon promises to make up. Invoke offers three woofers and three tweeters, boasting a far superior sound quality to Amazon Echo. With Microsoft’s Cortana being the smart home assistant of choice, users will be able make and receive Skype calls to other devices with Skype as well as mobile phones and landlines.
The Invoke is Microsoft’s first attempt in bringing Cortana to users outside its computers and smartphone OS. Everyone’s trying to conquer the home. Amazon and Google have a head start, with Apple reportedly on its heels. Microsoft does well taking its time and playing the long game, so it will be interesting to see how Cortana evolves out of the comforts of her current operating system homes.
Harmon Kardon is planning on shipping the Invoke in autumn, though no exact release date or price has been announced.