Facebook's Rumored Smart Speaker Could Launch This Summer


"Portal is expected to pair its 15" touchscreen with a wide-angle lens for facial recognition and logging individual users into Facebook. Portal will a wide-angle lens up front for this objective.

The two units are reportedly being developed by Facebook's "Building 8" lab, run by former Defense Department employee and Googler Regina Dugan.

Contrary to earlier reports, Facebook isn't going to debut its Amazon Echo Show competitor in May.

The large screens are a potential differentiator for Facebook, but they could also be awkward, depending on the design. That's why a smart speaker made by Facebook sounds a lot more intrusive than Google's or Amazon's. The company seems to have signed deals with Sony and Universal Music, which may add more features into the smart speakers.

It's undeniable though, that the smart speaker can be an awesome addition to our homes, for both making our lives easier and impressing our guests.

The devices won't be Echo or HomePod lookalikes.

We've asked Facebook for comment and will update this article with any response.

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According to the sources, Facebook is planning on building its own video consumer device ecosystem within the next five years, and the smart speaker are the first stage of this process, with more devices expected over the next few years.

Facebook wanted to launch the devices in May, the report notes but delayed the launch to ideal the acoustic quality and software.

Now we're hearing news that the plan includes two devices and might be launched in July.

If Facebook's Portal device truly features a 15-inch screen, it would more than double the Echo Show in size, which measures up at roughly 7 inches.

It's two. The devices will be Facebook's first step into the smart speaker market now dominated by Amazon, Google, and Apple. Similarly, Business Insider reported that Facebook was working on a mysterious video chatting device codenamed "Aloha".

Coming back to the DigiTimes report, it says Aloha aka Portal will offer more social networking functions. While Zuckerberg's firm is getting its supply of 15-inch display panels from LG display, its smart speakers' sole assembler will be Taiwanese company Pegatron, one of Apple's partners. Just last month, Cheddar reported that the device could cost as much as $499, be called Portal, and potentially be introduced at the company's annual developer conference in May.

It's possible that this could raise privacy concerns, however.