In recent times, voice-based assistants and smart speakers have been the area of focus for major tech companies such as Apple, Google and Amazon. It now appears that social media giant Facebook is the latest company to join the battle. Also Read - Facebook smartwatch to feature cameras alongside fitness functions: Yes, detachable cameras!Also Read - What happens to your Facebook account after you die?
According to a report by Cheddar, Facebook is planning to launch a $499 device called the Facebook Portal that would allow users to connect with ones friends and family through video chat. This product would mark Facebook s entry into the devices market. Although a Facebook phone was rumored in the past, the social media company never really came forward with a finished product. Also Read - WhatsApp Multi-device support confirmed, public beta rollout begins in two months: Mark Zuckerberg
Facebook is expected to formally introduce the product at F8 this year at San Jose, which is scheduled to take place between May 1-2. The product is expected to use AI as do most other products it competes with such as Amazon Echo and Google Home.
Late last year, there were reports of Facebook working on an Amazon Echo Show-like device for video chat. Back then, the product was referred to as Project Aloha. If Facebook does release the product at $499, it would be priced higher than the Amazon Echo Show, which currently retails at $229.99.
At the recently concluded CES 2018 at Las Vegas, Google announced a platform in the similar space. The new Google Smart Display platform is a new tablet-like screen with speakers covering one side of the screen. The company has partnered JBL, LG, Lenovo and Sony to sell products based on the platform.