Facebook will reportedly release its own home speaker clad with a touchscreen panel that many expect will pose a challenge to Amazon’s Echo Show.
A recent report from Cheddar said Facebook was likely to announce its first-ever hardware product named Portal soon. While it is going to be a home speaker like the Echo and Google Home, its functions reportedly give more emphasis in providing more options for communication.
Portal is expected to primarily let its future users contact their family and friends through video calls, thanks to its screen and wide-angle lens features. It is also likely that the upcoming home speaker will have social media support.
The Portal speaker’s camera, according to the report, is designed to recognize people’s faces and associate them to their Facebook profiles — a feature that had long been added to the main Facebook platform.
Apart from its video call and camera features, Portal is also expected to launch with support for various music and video streaming services such as Netflix and Spotify.
However, the report did not mention if Facebook would get a license to carry the YouTube app on the Portal. It can be recalled that Echo Show users recently lost access to the video-sharing platform following the clash between Google and Amazon.
If Facebook somehow gets Google’s approval to carry the YouTube app on the Portal, it could be one of the upcoming speaker’s advantages over the Echo Show.
Meanwhile, this is not the first time that Facebook’s home speaker has made headlines. Back in July 2017, Digitimes (via The Verge) released a report that the social networking site was developing a piece of hardware that had a 15-inch touchscreen panel.
The release of Portal could pave the way for Facebook to expand the availability of their own artificially intelligent assistant named “M.”
Facebook has yet to confirm the reports. Meanwhile, they are expected to unveil the Portal speaker sometime in May but the speaker will only be released into the market within the second half of the year.