Microsoft and Harman Kardon jointly announced today that the stand-alone Cortana voice asistant “speaker” Harman Kardon Invoke will be launched in the fall 2017.
By design, Harman Kardon Invoke already looks very similar to the competitors, especially Amazon’s Alexa. But it is supposed to be a really good speaker too, a 360 speaker that can fill a small room, so it’s more than just a talkative Cortana.
I don’t know what Cortana update that fall 2017 release of the Invoke will coincide with, but this might be good. So far we are only being told of the voice activation of the smart home devices, voice control of music, calendar management, the setting of reminders, checking weather, traffic, financial quotes and news, as well as Skype integration so that users can receive and make calls to mobile phones, landlines or Skype users.
The Invoke is said to only become available in the US, and it will probably take a long time before this product expands to other Cortana markets, even though Cortana is available not just in English, but German, French, Chinese, Spanish, Japanese, Italian, and Portuguese as well by now.
– Tom Bowen