According to a new report, Facebook is now quietly developing its own smart speaker system similar to the likes of Amazon’s Echo Show.
Smart speakers have quickly become the rage since the debut of Amazon’s Echo units and Google Home, and even Apple has waded into the waters to fire back with the music-focussed HomePod. Now, a new report has revealed that social media giant Facebook could be developing its own such unit.
The report comes amidst a recent rumour that cited that Facebook has been developing hardware in its secretive Building 8 division – most notably, the social media company is apparently developing its own modular smartphone.
DigiTimes reports that a supply chain source has alleged that Facebook is seeking to differentiate itself by producing its own touch-screen equipped smart speaker system, and is planning to debut the product at some point in 2018.
According to the report, “The 15-inch touch panel that Facebook’s smart speaker will use is supplied by LG Display, using in-cell technology. The speaker will also be equipped with a magnesium-aluminum-alloy chassis. The device has already begun small volume of pilot production at Pegatron’s plants in China”.
Facebook will likely require a digital assistant to handle voice queries and prompts, and while the company hasn’t overtly played its hand at voice recognition and speech synthesis, it does have Messenger’s “M” AI which is used to facilitate interaction with businesses and brands on the platform.
Should Facebook succeed in bringing the product to market, it would join Amazon and Google in forming a trinity of internet giants with smart speaker products reaching the homes of thousands.
What are your thoughts? Could Facebook be preparing for a wider offensive into hardware? Be sure to let us know your opinion in the comments below!