Microsoft is ready to take on Amazon Echo and Google Home with its new AI-based home speaker. The speaker has been developed by third-party device maker Harman Kardon, which puts Cortana into the speaker.
Microsoft released a teaser, revealing that its new device can carry out tasks such as play music and jot down reminders for future events. Microsoft’s new Cortana-powered speaker has a circular top, which suggests it could feature a cylindrical design just like Echo. The 30-second long teaser video doesn’t reveal any more information. Microsoft says the their new device is coming in 2017.
“One early device partner, Harman Kardon, a leader in premium audio, will have more news to share next year about their plans, but today provided a sneak peek at their new device coming in 2017,” Windows Apps Team said in a blogpost.
Microsoft revealed its plans to include Cortana in the IoT Core edition of the Windows 10 Creators Update. The Windows 10 Creators Update powers IoT devices. “Soon, Cortana will be present in a new way, in your home, thanks to a partnership with Harman Kardon, maker of premium audio gear,” Microsoft said in its San Francisco show.
Next, the Redmond-based giant wants to make Cortana available to all OEMs and ODMs to build smarter devices on all platforms.
The competition for Microsoft is going to be tough, especially when Amazon Echo has become a part of a majority of households in the US. Amazon Echo is quite evolved in terms of tasks it can perform such as book cabs, play music, set reminders and do online shopping. According to reports, Amazon is set to launch a new home-device like Echo, but with a screen. Amazon’s new device will also be a more premium one compared to the earlier Echo.
Google Home, on the other hand, doesn’t have third-party app support yet, but the company has opened up the API for developers to create tasks, voice commands on the Home Speaker and Assistant. Reports also claim Apple is working on a new home device as well with Siri as the highlight.