As the largest social networking service in the world, Facebook is undoubtedly one of the most prominent names in the technology industry. However, it’s still a software-only company, which means it can’t exactly be compared with behemoths like Amazon and Google, which make both hardware and software. It seems though, that’s about to change soon, as the social media major is all set to enter hardware space.
According to a report by Cheddar, Facebook is planning to launch a smart home device as early as next week. The device, dubbed ‘Portal’, will have video chatting functionalities similar to Amazon’s Echo Show. Citing people familiar with the matter, Cheddar’s report says that ‘Portal’ will feature social media integration and come in two screen sizes. While the larger version is expected to cost $400, the smaller one will most likely be priced at $300.
It’s worth mentioning that Facebook had originally planned to unveil ‘Portal’ at its F8 developer conference, back in May this year. However, the company had to postpone its plans due to the infamous Cambridge Analytica scandal, as well as the alleged misuse of the platform by Russia to interfere with the 2016 United States Presidential Election.
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The report goes on to mention that ‘Portal’ will come with a privacy shutter that’ll allow the device’s front-facing video chat camera to be covered. Speaking of the camera, it’ll have AI features which will allow the device to recognize users in a frame, and even follow them around. Other than that, ‘Portal’ is expected to have built-in Amazon Alexa integration.