The HP Pavilion Wave was released last year to minimal fanfare. The self-proclaimed ‘desktop PC reinvented’ is triangular in shape and has the appearance of a mid-sized speaker. And that’s because that’s what it is. The fairly beefy desktop PC is also prime material for a media centre. With an included speaker, and pretty elegant design, it will fit in well on your shelf or alongside your TV.

Our interest in the product is mainly centred around its inclusion of microphones and support for Cortana, Microsoft’s digital assistant. Making it in essence, a beefed up version of the digital assistants that are making their ways into our homes these days. With a superior sound system, and the ability to display 4K video (with supporting display), it’s a pricey alternative that some may be interested in.

Unfortunately while Cortana makes a great personal assist, she is missing out on the home aspect that makes Alexa, OK Google, and to a certain extent Siri so appealing to most. Whereas these systems have all integrated themselves into the home automation scene, Cortana has yet to make a move. That hasn’t stopped people taking things into their own hands though, with several different hacks (and unofficial apps) in place to at least get control of your lights in place.

If Microsoft want to keep track with their competition, they’ll have to introduce further applications for Cortana integration into the connected house. And a device such as the HP Pavilion Wave offers a unique alternative to the customary small Echo and Google Home devices. Will we see other manufacturers offer similar powerful alternatives?