File photo: A giant logo is seen at the Facebook headquarters in London, Uk, 4 December 2017. REUTERS/Toby Melville
There is already much talk over the past year to suggest that Facebook is prepping the launch of a smart speaker. The latest news, however, suggests that it will be hitting the market with not one, but two devices.
With Amazon’s display-equipped Echo Show apparently in the sights of the city, each device will feature a 15-inch screen and could launch in July of this year, industry sources told DigiTimes. That is a few months later than earlier reports suggested, but this is apparently the design team for the perfect speaker is the sound quality and the software.
Taiwan-based DigitTimes has called the law on a number of claims in the past said that Facebook’s smart speakers are code-named Aloha, and Fiona, with Aloha chance to start with the name “Portal” which matches previous reports. Fiona for the launch of the name is not mentioned.
While both would also function as video chat devices, Portal is reported to be “more advanced” than Fiona. As you would expect with a smart speaker, they are a Alexa-as-assistant, and be operated through a voice command, but Portal function face recognition “to identify users for access to Facebook via a wide-angle lens on the front of the unit,” the report said.
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Facebook has also already after the deals with record companies to offer property owners additional options when it comes to playing music on the devices.
Similar to Amazon, Facebook is reported to be working on additional smart devices is on the development of its own ecosystem, with its two speakers is described as the first-stage products.
Portal rumored price tag of $499 would be $270 more expensive than Amazon’s Echo, a 7-inch display. There is no word on Fiona ‘ s possible prices.
As you would expect with Facebook hardware, the devices are likely to the social networking site in its heart, with face recognition technology, for example, automatically connecting users to their accounts.
Facebook, in the Building of 8 lab
The smart speakers are expected to be the first products to arise from Facebook in the mysterious Building 8 lab, which started in 2016.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said earlier that the lab is exploring “augmented and virtual reality, artificial intelligence, connectivity, and other key areas.”
Vacancies for the Build of 8 team speak of the development of “seemingly impossible products that define new categories that advance Facebook’s mission of connecting the world.”
While it is wise to approach the claims from unnamed sources with caution, the fact that we have been hearing about Facebook’s smart speaker plans for some time, including a number of high-profile outlets, the company is to enter the market.
The competition is fierce, however, with Amazon between multiple companies and offers a growing range of devices. Google and Apple also have smart speakers on the market now, all with all their offers, only Amazon’s Echo Show features a tablet-like screen.