According to sources, Facebook seems to be preparing another hardware product launch next year. It’s codenamed “Ripley.” But what is it?
When Facebook launched its Portal and Portal+ devices recently, social media tipster Jane Manchun Wong spotted another mystery codename in Facebook for Android’s code. The product (or project) codenamed “Ripley” appeared next to the two Portal smart displays but Facebook didn’t announce any more hardware.
So what is “Ripley”?
Facebook Portal products are Android-based.
Portal+'s device name "Aloha", while Portal is "Ohana".
While spectating their app code, it seems they have another media device codenamed "Ripley"
I wonder if it's an actual device, or just for debug 🤔
— Jane Manchun Wong (@wongmjane) October 8, 2018
Well, according to multiple sources, it’s a new camera-equipped device for TVs. More specifically, it’s touted to be a set-top box with a camera, that will allow video chat (not a big surprise) and video content viewing (again not a surprise). As Facebook sinks more and more money into Watch and original programming, it’s only logical that it wants to create a hardware device to stream its shows. If you’re sceptical, here’s what Facebook’s VP of Portal Rafa Camargo said recently: “we’re already investing in expanding the product line with more products we want to launch next year.”
That fits perfectly with what sources are saying: that “Ripley” is going to be launched sometime in the spring of 2019. And yes, that fits perfectly with the launch or MTV’s The Real World revival on Facebook Watch.
Now, how successful the Portal devices will be, will depend on how many people don’t have a problem bringing a Facebook-controlled camera and microphone into their homes, so it’s possible that Facebook will test the waters first, before finalising “Ripley.” In any case, Facebook has its eye on a market dominated by Roku, Amazon, Apple, and others set-top box companies.