Harman Kardon’s Cortana-powered Invoke speaker one step closer to release

Harman Kardon and Microsoft have already officially announced the Harman Kardon Invoke smart speaker, but have only said to expect the device around the vague Fall period.

The device has however edged one step closer to release, with the smart speaker having been granted FCC approval at the end of April 2017.

Harman Kardon requested 90 days confidentially from that date, meaning the company is expecting to release the device before the start of August ie. very soon.

The Cortana-powered speaker will offer:

  • Premium Sound: Harman Kardon high-quality sound featuring 3 woofers and 3 tweeters give full range, true 360-degree sound. The 2 passive radiators are tuned to give a solid bass performance from a small enclosure.
  • Cortana: Cortana is your truly personal digital assistant designed to help you be more productive. Cortana can set reminders, make lists, manage calendars, provide answers to questions, and much more. Cortana also works across devices, including PC and mobile, so she’s there whenever you need help.
  • Skype calling: Make and receive hands-free calls to cell phones, landlines, and any Skype-enabled device.
  • Smart Home Control: Control your smart home devices including lights and thermostat and more.
  • SONIQUE Far-Field Voice Technology: Featuring 7 microphones embedded into the speaker, using Harman’s beam forming, echo cancellation, and noise reduction algorithms to ensure Cortana can hear you, even in challenging environments.

The Harman Kardon has said the  Invoke will be available in the United States this Fall in Pearl Silver and Graphite. At the moment, it is unknown whether the speaker will be available in other parts of the world — and the speaker’s price is still a mystery.

The field of ambient computing has however seriously hotted up over the last year, with Google releasing the Google Home, Apple set to release the HomePod and even Samsung set to release a Bixby-powered smart speaker soon, not to mention Amazon’s unassailable lead with a large library of Alexa devices now available, meaning both Microsoft and Harman Kardon have little time to waste.

See Microsoft’s teaser for the device below:

YouTube player

See the limited documentation at the FCC here.

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