Microsoft has its own version of the home assistant and it’s called the “Invoke.” The device is being made by the company Harman Kardon, which explains the standard, speaker-like look of it.
The announcement was unceremoniously dropped on the company’s product page (first caught by Thurott) after being teased late last year.
The Invoke has all of the features you’d expect from similar devices, except with a Microsoft twist. Instead of Alexa, you’ve got Cortana. Instead of Google searches, you’ve got Bing searches. Skype will, of course, handle your conference calls, which is a nice touch. The device can also do things like control smart home devices and speak back to you using its 360 degree speaker.
The press image above shows a ring on the top of it, which resembles the Cortana logo. We don’t know quite what it does, but it looks as if it can be controlled in some way by twisting it. The device works with Windows Phone, iOS, and Android, using the Cortana app, which is already available in the various app stores.
The home assistant was the most surprising new hardware line to come out of electronics manufacturers in the past few years. Who thought people would be interested in buying one of these things when it merely duplicates most of the features of your phone? However, it’s no question that the Amazon Echo has taken off, followed by the likes of the Google Home and and now the Invoke.
Microsoft has its BUILD conference later this week from May 10-12 where we’re expecting to hear more about the product.