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Harman Kardon unveils first speaker with Cortana built-in

by Killian Bell | December 14, 2016December 14, 2016 4:00 am PDT

harman-kardon-cortana-speaker

One of Microsoft’s first Amazon Echo competitors will be made by Harman Kardon. The company today unveiled what could be the world’s first speaker with Cortana built-in, and it’s schedule to make its official debut sometime during 2017.

Microsoft confirmed plans to take on Amazon’s lineup of Alexa-enabled speakers (and the new Google Home device) last week, but it didn’t offer any specifics about new hardware products. Now Harman Kardon has given us a peak at its very own Cortana speaker.

The device looks similar to an Amazon Echo on the outside, according to the 30-second teaser video below. One big difference appears to be a display on its top that shows animations when Cortana is active, and possibly snippets of information, too.

Harman Kardon hasn’t confirmed a specific release date for its new speaker, but it has promised it will be available in 2017. If the company doesn’t keep us waiting too long, it could be the first Cortana speaker to go on sale.

Interestingly, Harman Kardon parent company Harman International Industries was just acquired by Samsung, which is working on an Amazon Alexa and Cortana competitor of its own that’s expected to make its debut next spring with the Galaxy S8.

We’ll have to wait and see whether Harman Kardon will still be producing Cortana speakers once Harman officially becomes a Samsung subsidiary.

The Verge

Killian Bell

Killian Bell is a 20-something technology journalist based in a tiny town in England. He has an obsession with that little company in Cupertino...

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