Facebook to release its own smart home speakers in July 2018

Facebook to release its own smart home speakers in July 2018

Taking on Amazon, Google and Apple, Facebook is now set to officially roll out two smart home speakers in 2018.

To give it the edge over the competition, Facebook's smart speaker is apparently going to have a large 15 inch touch-screen, said to be a collaboration with LG Display.

If you're concerned about privacy, as many of you said you were in our poll about smart home tech, the thought of a Facebook smart speaker in your home might seem intrusive.

Both devices will have touchscreens made by LG, but Aloha will be "more sophisticated" than Fiona, DigiTimes noted.

According to a report from Cheddar back in January, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg doesn't care whether Portal "generates a profit", he just wants to "change user behaviour and encourage phone-like usage". The device will come with voice recognition features like any smart speaker, but also with facial recognition. Furthermore, Portal will come with more social networking functions and benefit from the music licensing contracts that Facebook has signed with Sony Music Entertainment and the Universal Music Group. These devices reportedly feature a touchscreen that can be used to display visual information to accompany its responses, as well as play video and conduct video calls.

The model "Aloha", to be promoted under the official name Portal, is expected to be the more high-end model and will use voice-controlled technology. The immediacy of such devices means that they are front and centre in people's every day life and it brings Facebook into the fore as people listen to music and control their central heating, among other things.

They're reportedly being developed by Facebook's secretive Building 8 hardware lab, which launched a year ago to develop such products. Both devices were allegedly due for a May release initially but Facebook wanted to give itself more time to ideal sound and software. Both the devices will serve as the foundation for Facebook's long-term plan to build own ecosystem for video consumer devices in the next five years. The company now aims to release the devices in July this year.