Here Comes the Harmon Kardon Invoke

Posted on May 8, 2017 by Paul Thurrott in Android, Hardware, iOS, Mobile, Windows 10 with 30 Comments

Here Comes the Harmon Kardon Invoke

Brad revealed Harmon Kardon’s secret website for its Cortana-powered Invoke smart speaker earlier today. But now the firm has come clean about the device and has provided a few more details.

“We’re excited to officially reveal the Cortana powered Harman Kardon Invoke smart home speaker,” a Microsoft representative told me. “The Harman Kardon Invoke speaker combines the rich, captivating sound that Harman Kardon is known for with your personal digital assistant, Cortana.”

“Our goal is to put Cortana everywhere you need assistance, and the Invoke speaker from Harman Kardon is our next step in getting there,” he added. “With Cortana on the Invoke speaker, you can play your favorite music, make Skype calls, manage calendars and activities, set reminders, check traffic, deliver the latest news and so much more.”

You can see the Harmon Kardon Invoke website for yourself here. But here are some additional details about this device.

Harmon Kardon is owned by Samsung. And that is rather interesting when you think about it. The subsidiary focuses “on connected technologies for automotive, consumer and enterprise markets.”

Two colors. As Brad hinted at, the Invoke will come in two color choices: Graphite (Black) and Pearl Silver (White).

360 degree sound. Thanks to its cylindrical design, the Invoke provides 360 degree sound with “premium audio.”

Voice activated. The Invoke features Harmon Kardon’s SONIQUE-branded far-field voice recognition technology for voice activation and control. “It is a proprietary 360-degree adaptive technology (featuring 7 microphones) that recognizes all details of voice commands even in environments with high ambient noise,” the firm says. “It uses beam forming, echo cancellation, and noise reduction algorithms to ensure Cortana can hear you, even in challenging environments.”

Features. According to Harmon Kardon, the Invoke can “can play your favorite music, manage calendars and activities, set reminders, check traffic, deliver the latest news and much more. With Skype integration, you can make calls to cellphones, landlines and other Skype-enabled devices. You can also control your smart home devices [from select providers] using voice to do things like turn out the lights or control the temperature.”

“Touch to surprise” The Invoke features a unique “touch to surprise” user interface panel at the top of the speaker, interactive Cortana lighting, and intuitive buttons. “It is the first of its kind to feature Skype integration, allowing users to make and receive crystal-clear, hands-free calls,” Harmon Kardon claims.

Availability. As you should have expected, the Invoke will only be sold in the United States, at select retailers including the Microsoft Store, starting “in fall 2017”.

Requirements. You will need a Windows 10 PC or the Cortana app on Android or iPhone to setup the Invoke.


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