Harman Kardon Teases Invoke Cortana-Powered Smart AI Speaker

'Voice-enabled technology is the future; by teaming up with Microsoft, we're delivering on our promise of elevating a connected life through smart technology, superior sound and the stunning design that is Harman Kardon's hallmark'.

Like the Google Home and Amazon Echo, the Invoke is a cylindrical speaker housing which produces 360-degree sound.

"We're excited to officially reveal the Cortana powered Harman Kardon Invoke smart home speaker", a Microsoft representative told me. The Invoke speakers offer 360-degree sound, ability to make and receive calls via Skype, and other functionalities offered by Cortana that one might expect.

If the device launches as advertised, Skype calling could be Microsoft's big ticket.

Harmon Kardon's voice-activated speaker, powered by Microsoft Cortana, was teased at the end of previous year.

Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN)'s dominance in the home assistant market with its Echo device will be challenged by a newcomer.

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The new Devices submenu within Cortana advertises how to set up the new Invoke speaker, connecting it to popular music apps including Microsoft Groove, iHeartRadio, Pandora, TuneIn, and Spotify.

Harmon Kardon says the Invoke will launch this fall. Well, the company just did it in a press release, and we finally have more details about the hardware and all the features enabled by Microsoft's digital assistant. The Invoke will be available in the United States at select retailers and Microsoft Stores in fall 2017, but there is still no word on pricing yet.

Meanwhile, Amazon is reinforcing its position as the leader in the burgeoning market for voice assistants: Earlier this month, Amazon unveiled the Echo Look, a camera for the bedroom powered by the Alexa voice assistant.

Cortana is your truly personal digital assistant created to help you be more productive.

For Microsoft, the Invoke aids the company's long-term plans for its Cortana assistant. People can even make calls through the speaker with the help of Skype.

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