Harman International, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Samsung Electronics focused on connected technologies for automotive, consumer and enterprise markets announced on Monday new details of the Harman Kardon Invoke, a voice-activated speaker featuring the intelligence of Microsoft’s Cortana personal digital assistant.
Invoke, with Cortana, is a voice-activated speaker that can play music, manage calendars and activities, set reminders, check traffic, deliver the latest news, among other things. With Skype integration, users can also make calls to cell phones, landlines and other Skype-enabled devices; and control their smart home devices using voice to do things like turn out the lights or control the temperature.
Combining Harman Kardon’s audio heritage with Cortana’s intelligence, Invoke is developed for busy people balancing the competing demands of work and home. This device is perfect for those who want to make the most of every moment of their day.
“We’re excited to work with Microsoft to develop a premium speaker that will deliver an exceptional experience to every customer using 360-degree Harman Kardon sound and the intelligence of Cortana,” said Michael Mauser, President, Lifestyle Audio Division at HARMAN. “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.”
Cortana is used by more than 145 million people across devices and platforms with best-in-class natural language recognition and deep integration with Microsoft’s suite of knowledge and productivity tools, helping the user stay productive whether at home, the work place through a Windows 10 PC or on the go with a mobile device.
“We are excited to partner with Harman Kardon to create a speaker that combines premium audio and stylish design with the intelligence of Cortana.” said Jordi Ribas, CVP, AI Products at Microsoft. “This is our next step in bringing Cortana to even more devices to help users be more productive wherever they are.”
Available in Pearl Silver (White) and Graphite (Black), Invoke has a sleek, modern design that enhances any home. Crafted from premium materials, Invoke’s striking metallic speaker cabinet delivers power and projects sound a full 360-degrees, filling even a large room or space. Harman Kardon’s unparalleled sound reveals all the beautiful details in the music.
Flawlessly blending form and function, Invoke is equipped with easy to use features, like a ‘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.
Invoke is outfitted with Harman’s SONIQUE far-field voice recognition technology. 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. It uses Harman’s beam forming, echo cancellation, and noise reduction algorithms to ensure Cortana can hear the user, even in challenging environments.
Harman Kardon Invoke with Cortana by Microsoft will be available in the USA only at select retailers and Microsoft Stores later this year.