Just in case there weren’t enough smart speakers in the world following Apple’s HomePod launch Facebook are getting in on the trend.
Earlier this month Apple launched their long-teased Smart home speaker to go up against Amazon’s beloved and well established Echo speakers and Google’s rival Home speakers. Now Facebook are reportedly getting in on the market with 2 smart speakers planned for launch by the end of July.
A report from DigiTimes says that Facebook plan to enter the smart speaker market in the middle of 2018, breaking onto the scene with 2 new models. Both speakers, nicknamed Aloha and Fiona, will feature 15-inch interactive screens, putting them in direct competition with Amazon’s Echo Show speakers (pictured above) launched last year.
DigiTimes reportedly received the information from industry sources who said that Facebook want to enter the global speaker market as it booms in popularity and ever-growing competition. Their devices will likely focus on the social functions of a smart speaker with a screen such as video calling and messaging through Facebook’s Messenger.
According to the sources the Aloha speaker will be “more sophisticated than Fiona”, though both will be designed by Facebook’s Building 8 hardware lab and be fitted with 15-inch interactive touchscreens. Reportedly Aloha will be marketed as ‘Portal’ and will use voice commands like other smart speakers but also feature facial recognition for logging into people’s Facebook.
DigiTimes also say: “Facebook has signed music licensing contracts with Sony and Universal Music to enrich the device’s applications. Facebook is planning to build its own ecosystem for video consumer devices in the next five years, and the smart speaker is just the initial-stage product, with more terminal devices expected to be rolled out in the coming years, industry sources said.”
The speakers are apparently slated for release before the end of July this year, so Facebook will have to make an official announcement soon enough for people to distinguish them from all of the other Smart speakers out there.