As far as we know Harman Kardon is still set to release the Invoke smart speaker, powered by Cortana, this holiday season, but besides the announced feature list we have had little view into how useful the gadget will be.
Now some more detail has leaked regarding the device, courtesy of their Uservoice account, which dates from a Friends & Family trial Microsoft is running to test the speaker in the homes of Microsoft employees.
From a survey linked from there, we can now see that the device will support at least 16 3rd party skills, all of which sounds rather good.
The list includes Fitbit, Food Network, Open Table, Bartender, Rain Sounds and more, suggesting Invoke users will have a pretty good feature set at launch. It is possible that all 67 skills listed as supported by Cortana will be available at launch.
Of course, this is still far shy from the more than 20,000 skills the Amazon Echo supports and the several hundred the Google Home supports, and there is no guarantee these companies will keep their skills updated, but we know Microsoft has taken efforts to keep their skills language as similar as possible to Amazon’s Alexa Skills Kit, meaning developers will hopefully find it easy to support another ecosystem.
The user voice site also revealed some other interesting titbits, such as that users will be able to call landlines and mobile phones directly from their Invoke using Skype, and that they will even be able to receive calls and customize the caller ID the device provides when calls are made.
Also interesting is that, besides Office 365 and Outlook.com, the Invoke will support Gmail calendar out of the box.
The Invoke will also support smart home features, being able to control Nest, Phillips Hue, Smarthings, Wink and Insteon devices. As has previously been revealed, the Invoke will support Groove Music, iHeartRadio, Spotify and TuneIn Radio.
Of course, it seems likely that Invoke buyers will be cruising for a bruising by buying into another “distant 3rd” Microsoft platform attempt. Will any of our readers be jumping in? Let us know below.