Harman Kardon isn’t the only device maker creating its own Cortana-powered speaker. Microsoft is revealing today that HP is partnering with the software maker to create its own hardware that will run Cortana. Microsoft is also working with Intel to provide a reference platform for Cortana-enabled devices, allowing Microsoft’s digital assistant to appear on a range of hardware.
Harman Kardon will still be one of the first to deliver a Cortana-powered speaker. Announced earlier this week, the Invoke speaker is designed to take on Amazon’s Echo devices with 360-degree speakers, Skype calling, and smart home control all through voice commands. HP is the latest PC maker to partner with Microsoft on these types of devices, and we’re expecting to hear more manufacturers create their own devices later this year.
Microsoft has bold ambitions for Cortana, including bringing it to fridges, toasters, and thermostats. Microsoft has enabled far-field speech communications and wake on voice in the Creators Update to Windows 10, allowing Cortana to be used in new ways. Microsoft is also expected to launch a new Home Hub feature in Windows 10 later this year that will turn Cortana into an assistant that manages shared family PCs.