Cortana Smart Speaker and Smart Home Automation Debut in October
For those of you waiting for a Cortana smart speaker, your 10-month wait seems to be coming to an end. The Harman Kardon Invoke smart speaker with Microsoft Cortana onboard is expected to retail for $199.95 and be available on October 22, 2017. WalkingCat on Twitter first spotted the page which was soon removed by Microsoft. The price point matches the recently announced Sonos One, is considerably higher than the latest Amazon Echo and Google Home flagship lineups and is considerably lower than the expected price for Apple HomePod ($349), Google Home Max ($399) and other offerings by JBL, Pioneer and others.
Harman Kardon Supports Everyone
The first Harman Kardon smart speaker announced was the Cortana-supported Invoke last December. Since that time, we have seen other Harman Kardon announcements featuring Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant in products shipping this fall. The company has also indicated it plans to distribute a smart speaker that supports Samsung Bixby, but that doesn’t appear likely to be available in 2017. It seems clear that Harman Kardon plans to support all or many of the voice assistant platforms including two that have competitive product offerings — Amazon and Google. If you are in the market for a high-end smart speaker, Harman Kardon will likely be able to meet your needs regardless of your favored voice assistant.
Cortana Also Supports New Smart Home Devices
Geeky Gadgets is also reporting that Microsoft is now supporting a number of smart home devices such as Philips Hue, Insteon, Nest, SmartThings and Wink. The new smart home support comes from the latest update to Microsoft Cortana. The interesting impact on consumers is that this brings smart home control to PC laptops, desktops and Surface.
Microsoft fans have waited a long time for Cortana to get off the laptop and onto other devices and into the home setting. It looks like Microsoft is now making progress and will provide its 145 million monthly Cortana users with some much anticipated functionality.