Facebook is reportedly looking to foray in to consumer hardware business by introducing a new video chat device known as ‘Portal’. The company is planning to the device in May this year.
According to a report by Cheddar, the brand will announce the device during its annual developer conference and it might ship it in the second half of 2018. The report further highlights that Facebook wants to pitch the upcoming device as ‘way for families and friends to stay connected through video chatting and other social features.’
The report says that Facebook is planning to launch the device at $499, but it might bring down the price to spur consumer adoption. Portal will be sold by Facebook through pop-up stores and online, people familiar with the matter told the publication. The report says that smart video device will come with a wide angle camera that will be able to recognise individual users face and associates them with their Facebook accounts. The report adds that the device could be controlled with voice and users can view third party apps like Netflix on it.
This not the first time, a smart video chat device has been leaked. Previously, as per 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 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.