IFA 2017 | Samsung-owned Harman Kardon rolls out Alexa-powered speaker
Harman Kardon has rolled out its second speaker to feature a digital personal assistant. This time around, the new Harman Kardon Allure is kitted out with Amazon’s Alexa Voice Service. A wholly-owned subsidiary of Samsung, Harman Kardon appears to be hedging its bets when it comes with the burgeoning intelligent speaker market. Only late last year it launched the Invoke voice-activated speaker, which was the first to feature Microsoft’s Cortana personal digital assistant.
As with devices like the Google Home and Apple HomePod, the Allure can be controlled hands-free by voice commands. Alexa can be asked to play music, read the news, tell the weather and control connected home devices. Unlike those competing services, however, the Harman Kardon Allure can also be given voice commands to order items from Amazon, including food.
The 360-degree speaker also includes a 360-degree ambient lighting effect that glows from within. The lighting effect reacts on voice recognition, while it also moves in sync with whatever music is playing. A proprietary far-field voice technology has been embedded into the device so that it can recognize instructions even in noisy environments.
The Harman Kardon Allure with Amazon Alexa will be available for purchase this winter for US$249.