Facebook is reportedly working on a video chat device to compete with the likes of Amazon Echo Show. The company is also reported to be working on a standalone smart speaker to compete with the likes of Google Home, Apple HomePod and Amazon Echo.
According to a report by Bloomberg, the video chat device will feature a laptop-sized touchscreen and it could be announced at the F8 developer conference, which is scheduled to take place in 2018. The touchscreen could measure between 13 and 15 inches diagonally. The report further adds that “the device is in prototype phase but it already being tested in people’s homes.” Further, Facebook’s Building 8 lab is responsible for making the device a reality.
The report adds that the new video chat device will come with a smart camera that has the ability to scan people present in the room and lock onto them. “For example, the camera could zoom onto a painting that a child brought home from school to show to a parent away on a business trip,” the report said.
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The video chat device will feature a wide-angle camera lens, microphone and speakers and it will be powered by an artificial intelligence, which will give a performance boost. The device will run on a version of Android and the brand has dropped the idea of building its own operating system for the same. Further, the company is planning to introduce a 360-degree camera attachment, however, it might not be completed before the official launch. There is no official confirmation about the pricing of the device, but the report adds that Facebook might offer it for a few hundred dollars.
Coming to the smart speaker, Facebook is planning to launch the speaker by 2018 and it will compete with the likes of Amazon Echo and Google Home. The report further adds that the brand is hiring Apple veterans to help create a Siri-style voice assistant for both the devices. The standalone speaker could be priced as low as $100, however, the report highlights that Facebook could abandon it and prioritise the video chat device instead.