The home speaker will be very similar to the Amazon Echo or the Google Home.

Facebook working on home speaker and video chat device Reports
Atom Technology Friday, August 04, 2017 - 13:25

Facebook has a dedicated Booking 8 Lab that does research on new technologies. The latest information emerging out of their work indicates that there are two major projects underway at the lab.

One relates to the development of a home speaker very similar to the Amazon Echo or the Google Home. Once developed and pushed into the market, the speaker will directly compete with companies like Apple and Microsoft, besides Google and Amazon mentioned above. The only bit of information available on this proposed product is that Facebook intends to price this voice-only product at around $100. It will use the voice assistant service that Facebook has built.

But a more exciting prospect is the development of a video chat device that sports a large display screen that could be about 14 inches, which will be a touchscreen and will be integrated with a microphone, speakers and a wide-angle lens fitted camera. Facebook may decide to run the device on an appropriate version of the Android OS.

There is also a report which suggests that the level of artificial intelligence used in the device will permit the camera to scan for presence of people in the home and zoom in on their face. Though such technologies already exist and are being used, privacy concerns keep cropping up. The concept of an always-on camera unnerves a lot of people and how Facebook will overcome this and convince the public to buy its product with such features will remain a question.

Facebook’s plans to enter the physical devices space has been limited to the Oculus Rife. It will continue to push towards expanding its business operations beyond the social media presence and the market will be watching with bated breath.