A recent report says that the unveiling of “Portal,” Facebook’s Echo Show competitor, is just around the corner, and will take place in a matter of months.
There was a time when Facebook didn’t want to do devices anymore. That was just after 2013, where the HTC First was launched and promptly consigned to the wastebin of tech history. But now, it seems that Facebook is up for round two. In August, we reported that Facebook’s Building 8 lab was building another piece of hardware. This time, it’s a video chat device that will most closely resemble Amazon’s Echo Show.
We heard nothing more since then. However, according to recent reports, Facebook is close to revealing the new device in a few months. While similar to the Echo Show, the “Portal” (as it’s been called) is likely to be larger, and more expensive. In fact, its display will be around the 13 to 15-inch mark, and its price closer to $499 – not the $270 that Amazon asks for the Echo Show. An anonymous tipster also says the device is likely to be unveiled around May, at Facebook’s developer conference, while it may be released to the public later in the year.
What else do we know about the device? Well, not much, other than it will use smart-speaker features, responding to voice commands etc, and will use facial recognition technology to connect users.
Building 8 – Facebook’s hardware lab – works with “augmented and virtual reality, artificial intelligence, connectivity, and other important areas,” and exists to build “seemingly impossible products that define new categories that advance Facebook’s mission of connecting the world.” I think the bar is set quite high for this one.
Let’s just wait and see.
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