IT&Software

Microsoft, Samsung Call-Enabled Speaker Features Cortana, Skype

Microsoft, Samsung Call-Enabled Speaker Features Cortana, Skype

Harman today officially took the wraps off the Invoke, a new speaker that will join Amazon Echo and Google Home in an increasingly competitive market for voice-activated virtual assistants.

In its promotional blurb for the upcoming smart home speaker, Harman Kardon writes "At the heart of Invoke is Cortana, your personal digital assistant, helping you stay on top of what's important".

Invoke is also design with Skype integration, allowing users to make calls to cell phones, landlines and other Skype-enabled devices. The device itself, which is made from metal, will be available in two colors: black and white (though the white version looks more like silver).

Microsoft and Harman first revealed images of the speaker past year, but now there is a "coming soon" at the top of the product page, which was first spotted by Thurrott, and has given users more details about the device.

And of course, it will include Harman Kardon's "high-quality sound", with "3 woofers and 3 tweeters [giving] full range, true 360-degree sound". Cortana can set reminders, make lists, manage calendars, provide answers to questions, and much more.

According to credible reports from the Wall Street Journal, Amazon's new Echo speaker with screen and camera, code-named Knight, will offer video calling, taking the device, according to the WSJ, "one step ahead of rivals".

One of the major messages in the Invoke's marketing material is Cortana's ability to "get things done". The voice assistant will be backed by a seven-microphone array, along with echo- and noise-cancellation technology - all of which should help Cortana hear you better when you say, "Hey, Cortana, what's the weather?"

A standout feature looks to be Skype integration.

Apple Inc.is rumored to be working on a smart-speaker device that uses its Siri digital assistant. Last but not least, consumers will have to set up the Invoke speaker by using the Cortana app on Windows 10, Windows 10 Mobile, iOS or Android.

They plan on launching the speaker this fall (2017), where it will be available at some of your favorite stores as well as online from places like Amazon. Google and Amazon already have products - the latter being first to market has over 70% of the current market share.


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