Wednesday, 12 December, 2018

Facebook Is Hoping You'll Drop $500 on Its Smart-Home Device

Facebook's hardware dreams might come to fruition soon Facebook's hardware dreams might come to fruition
Doris Mccormick | 10 January, 2018, 04:08

The device could vie for space in people's kitchens and living rooms with similar gadgets from Google, Amazon and Apple, which all have voice-assisted speakers. The product is designed for the home and is meant to help families stay connected through video chats and the use of other social media platforms.

When contacted by PCMag on Tuesday, Facebook declined to comment. A Facebook spokesperson said in an email, "We are not commenting on these speculative reports".

Portal will essentially work like an Echo Show would in which you can ask it questions, check the weather, and get news all with your voice.

"CEO Mark Zuckerberg has told employees that he doesn't care if the [Portal] device generates profit but rather wants it to change user behavior and encourage phone-like usage among owners", Cheddar reported.

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Facebook's also secured licensing deals with Sony/ATV and Universal Music Group to build out a music streaming service for Portal, and plans to support third-party services like Netflix and Spotify. Facebook sells the Oculus Rift virtual reality gaming headgear.

It will reportedly feature a screen on the front like Amazon's Echo Show and Lenovo's new Android Assistant-equipped Smart Display, plus a camera with a wide-angle lens and facial-recognition technology that will help users connect with their Facebook accounts.

It remains to be seen if Facebook can compete in this category of consumer goods with big rivals having head starts. The reported price of $500 is also more than twice the cost of an Amazon Echo Show or LG's new Google screen.

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