Harman Kardon, the manufacturer of premium home and car audio equipment, is in charge of making of the speaker. It is unclear if the device will be a part of a certain product line, which might help to promote it.
Not much is known about Microsoft´s new speaker, except what is shown in the company´s half minute long teaser video on YouTube. It shows a speaker quite similar to Amazon Echo, one of the leading IoT devices on the market.
The speaker has a cylindrical design with a display on the top that glows when Cortana provides information. Other than that, the short video states the speaker is coming sometime next year.
Venturing into IoT market
The premium audio maker used Cortana Devices SDK to deliver real-time, two-way audio interaction. The package supports cross-platform development, including Windows IoT, Linux, and Android, as well as other open-source protocols and libraries.
Microsoft is relying on different partners from various categories to venture deep into IoT market. The decisive step in doing so is making Cortana available to all OEMs and ODMs to build smart devices on all platforms.
Currently, Microsoft has the Cortana Devices SDK in private preview, with wider availability stated for 2017. The company is also inviting developers and device manufacturers to sign up for updates and the potential early preview.
One interesting note from the blog post says that Harman Kardon is an “early device partner”. This suggests we could possibly see more of the Cortana-based smart devices very soon.