Facebook is reportedly working on two smart speakers which it plans to unveil by mid-2018. The company is reported to launch two smart speakers, both with 15-inch touchscreens, in July at the earliest.
According to a report by DigiTimes, the Facebook the two new models are codenamed as Aloha and Fiona. The report further highlights that the company was earlier planning to release the devices in May 2018, but it has decided to reschedule the launch event as it wants to refine the acoustic quality of the smart speakers along with software optimisation.
The 15-inch touchscreen will be sourced from LG Display, while the Taiwanese company, Pegatron is reported to assemble the devices. Coming to the devices, the report mentions that Aloha will be officially market as Portal, which is in line with the previous report. The smart speaker will come loaded with different features like facial recognition to identify users for accessing Facebook through its wide-angle lens. The device will also come with voice commands and it could also come with more social networking functions. The report says that Facebook has also signed music licensing deals with Sony and Universal Music as well.
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Previously it was reported 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 Cheddar. 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.