Microsoft Integrates Digital Assistant Cortana with Harman Kardon-Made Speaker; Will the Union Obliterate Rivals Google Home and Amazon Echo?

Dec 16, 2016 12:01 PM EST | Leonora Puno

Microsoft recently announced that it would be making a digital assistant in the form of a smart speaker using the Cortana software and the speaker hardware made by Harman Kardon. The said speakers would be endowed with Cortana's artificial intelligence which will allow them to give voiced instructions. Microsoft is slated to release the Cortana-powered speakers in 2017.

The smart speakers from Microsoft will challenge Amazon Echo and Google Home in the field of smart speakers technology. While the products of these two giant companies have been in use for almost a year now, the Cortana-powered smart speakers might offer features that these devices do not have, creating an advantage, according to WIRED. Cortina, which runs on Windows 10, can be installed on iPhones and Androids, making them an excellent virtual assistant.

Microsoft is currently forging partnerships with makers of hardware where the Cortina digital assistant can be used. Aside from home appliances and mobile devices, Cortina might soon be used in automobiles to keep hem connected at all times, according to Forbes. If this happens, Cortina will warn you regarding problems with your car such as a near-empty fuel tank or battery for hybrid cars that can create inconvenience while driving.

A video released about the latest project of Microsoft shows an object that is highly similar to Amazon's Echo. A blue light ring pulses at its top and the color of the light changes when someone talks to the smart speaker, and even as it gives answers, according to Digital Journal. The pulsing light represents the digital assistant Cortina.

With the availability of the Cortina smart speakers, people will be able to have a personal assistant that stays at their side at all times, ready to answer questions, and give reminders and instructions. With Microsoft's capabilities, it has a huge advantage over Amazon and Google and might soon become a force to reckon with in the industry.

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