Microsoft’s Invoke Takes Aim At Amazon Echo
Microsoft has announced their first competitor to the Amazon Echo in the form of the Cortana-powered Invoke. Rumors of the Invoke have been circulating since December of last year, but this is the first time we have actually seen the device.
Created in a partnership with Harmon Kardon, the Invoke offers all of the features you’d expect from such a device such as the ability to tell you the weather, check the local news, set reminders for yourself, etc. In short, if you’ve used Cortana on a PC then you know what to expect. In fact, PC users will find that the Invoke offers one key advantage over the Amazon Echo and that is the fact that your reminders, notes, and other setting will be synced across all of your Cortana-enabled platforms.
Additionally, it will allow you to control your other smart devices though Microsoft did not say which accessories would be compatible with the Invoke.
Perhaps the biggest differentiator between the Echo and Invoke is Harmon Kardon’s work with speakers and other audio technology. Their background in this field has led to some improvements in terms of the Invoke’s audio components. Whereas the Echo features only a single woofer and tweeter, Microsoft’s offering will feature three of each.
That higher sound quality will likely come in very handy when pared with the Invoke’s Skype functionality. The device will have the ability to make make and receive calls to Skype accounts, cell phones, and landline phones.
As of right now, Microsoft has announced nothing regarding the device’s price. It will likely be comparable to the Amazon Echo, but the extra audio hardware may justify a slight increase in price. In terms of release date, Microsoft has announced a launch of fall of 2017. We should learn more about the device in the coming months, but this marks the third major tech company to announce a voice-controlled assistant.
Eric is an avid tech junkie, gamer, and comic fan. When he's not working on his PC, you'll find him at your local comic book shop.