Late in 2016, Microsoft and Harman Kardon teased a new speaker that would be powered by Cortana. The Amazon Echo competitor has remained out of the spotlight and neither company has shown off what the final device would look like until now.
Harman Kardon has published a ‘coming soon’ page for the Invoke, the name of the cortana-based product, and it gives us the first look at the new hardware.
The premium speaker has a cylindrical design and does look similar to an Amazon Echo. At the top of the device is the familiar light ring that looks like Cortana. The speaker offers 360 degree sound, the ability to make and receive calls with Skype, and all of the other features currently available with Cortana.
As expected, this device is going to ship with the release of Redstone 3 which will arrive this fall.
I’m not quite sure how long this page has been online but considering that Microsoft will talk more about Cortana next week at Build and it is expected that they will make the Cortana Skills Kit available to everyone, we may get an early look at this new hardware. With that being said, hopefully we will see other vendors jump into the Cortana boat and release speakers as well.
Based one the images on the pre-release page, it looks like the device will come in silver and black.
For now, you can register to be notified about when the Invoke will go on sale. Unfortunately, we don’t know the price point of this device but I fully expect it to be around the same price points as Google Home and Amazon Echo.
Update: The device has been announced and will be US only, supports Windows 10, Android and iOS, the price is unknown; you can view the announcement page here.