Microsoft to Present Cortana-Based Version of Amazon Echo next Year

The company has teamed up with Harman Kardon to provide a speaker with its Cortana personal assistant built in. However, there is no specific release date set.

harman kardon cortana speaker youtube screenshot

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 ´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 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 provides information. Other than that, the short video states the speaker is coming sometime next year.

Venturing into IoT market

Announcing and Cortana Devices SDK in a blog post, Microsoft states that “will have more news to share next year about their plans.”

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.