The era of smart home assistants living in smart home speakers is in full swing. In the latest addition, Harman internationals presented a home speaker with in partnership with Microsoft, dubbed as the Harman Kardon Invoke. These speakers support 360-degree sound and integrate Cortana Voice-assistant.
Using these smart speakers, you can directly make Skype calls to cell phones and landlines in the US, Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico, and Guam. You can also ask Invoke to play music, manage your calendar, update you with the latest news, check traffic updates, to interact with Office 365, and also to control smart home devices like those from SmartThings, Nest, Philips Hue, Wink, and Insteon. More brands including Capital One, Expedia, Fitbit, and OpenTable are expected to join this list soon.
Harman Kardon Invoke has an array of 7 microphones and also benefits from SONIQUE far-field voice recognition, HARMAN’s beam forming, echo cancellation, and noise reduction algorithms for clear communication even in an environment with high ambient noise.
The voice-activated speaker also includes three direct-radiating woofers, three direct-radiating tweeters and two passive radiators that together facilitate multi-dimensional audio output. The speaker has metal grills on most of the body and touch controls mounted on the top.
Microsoft is late to the home speaker game but not by much. The advantage its Harman Kardon Invoke will have over options from Amazon and Google will be in terms of audio quality.
To start with, the Harman Kardon Invoke will retail only in the US starting from October 22. It will be available at Best Buy, Microsoft stores, and other major retail outlets for $199 or roughly Rs. 13,000 INR.