Artificial Intelligence, Robotics, Gaming, China

Microsoft Build 2017 Gives Life to Cortana-Based Echo Competitors

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Amazon has apparently created another market with the Echo line of devices, and as such, we are bound to see the rise of several smart devices with deep integration with artificial intelligence on the market. The latest company to make a move in this space is no other than Microsoft in partnership with Harman Kardon, HP, and Intel.

Microsoft had announced its partnership with Harman Kardon back in 2016, but only today, we get to understand what’s going on. For those who are wondering what’s up, Harman Kardon is manufacturing a device similar to the Amazon Echo, but instead of Alexa being the artificial intelligence of choice, we have Cortana.

Harman Kardon Invoke Powered By Cortana

The device is called the Invoke, and it’s all about transforming our homes into smart homes. Talk to the instrument, and it will do pretty much the same things as Amazon Echo, but the main difference here is the fact that Microsoft powers the system.

The design of the device resembles the Google Home, but with a slim trim and a black finish. There’s also a white version for those who have no interest in the darker color.

We should point out that Samsung now owns Harmon Kardon, and as such, it’s not certain if this will put an abrupt end to the manufacturing of the product.

What about HP?

HP is definitely working alongside Microsoft to bring Cortana-based products to market. Nothing was shown during Build 2017, but fans should keep an eye out for devices resembling the Harmon Kardon, and the Amazon Echo Show.

As for when HP plans to display its Cortana smart devices, we can’t give a definitive date. However, before the end of 2017 is probably a safe bet.

The Intel factor

Microsoft says Intel will focus on reference platforms, which from our perspective; means the company will not create devices but instead work on the software’s backend for powering other Cortana-based products.

From what Microsoft is doing, it’s clear the company is aiming to work with several hardware partners to get Cortana-based products on the market. Furthermore, the plan is there to transform every Windows 10 computer into a smart home device with Cortana at the helm.

With 500 million devices now powered by Windows 10, Microsoft could dominate the space in the years to come.

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