Microsoft has announced at its Build 2017 developer conference that in addition to Harman Kardon’s Cortana-powered Invoke speaker, it has also signed partnerships with HP and Intel to deliver new Cortana devices in the future.
Microsoft’s partnership with HP is for devices, while with Intel, the partnership is focused on reference platforms — meaning a technical blueprint that contains the essential elements of a system.
The Invoke is Microsoft’s first AI speaker and the company’s answer to the Amazon Echo and the Google Home. Through the Invoke, users can control smart home devices, play music and receive/make calls through Microsoft-owned Skype using just their voice.
The device will also incorporate many of the voice-activated assistant’s features such as telling jokes, identify songs, playing games and sending e-mails.
At the first day keynote, the Redmond-based company also announced the public preview of its Cortana Skills Kit, meaning developers can now build and publish skills for Cortana that are available through Windows 10, Android, iOS, the Invoke speaker and any future Cortana-enabled devices.
Additionally, the company revealed that Cortana has 141 million monthly active users, using both voice and text commands.