Published: Thu, February 15, 2018
Science | By Hubert Green

Get ready for yet another set of smart speakers

Get ready for yet another set of smart speakers

While Fiona is expected to be a device similar to the Amazon Echo and Google Home, Portal is said to have a large 15-inch touch screen, twice the size of the display of Amazon's Echo Show and larger even than the eight and 10-inch Google Assistant displays due out later this year from Lenovo. Mark Zuckerberg's company has reportedly chose to delay the release of its Portal-named smart speaker and the other model that's now known for its codename, "Fiona".

Facebook will reportedly officially enter the smart speaker market in mid-2018, launching two devices to the world by July at the latest. Obviously, you need to experience Facebook's many products on this device, and that's why a screen is required.

Central to Facebook's smart speaker strategy is the visual aspect and the high quality camera. Further, the smart speaker is also likely to be equipped with facial recognition technology to identify users.

Amazon outfitted the Echo Show with a 7-inch screen so that it could have a display panel that serves as an extension of the device's functions.

He also says that the smart speaker industry "will be a tough nut to crack for Facebook", and that it would be "an Everest-like uphill climb to compete with the likes of Amazon".

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

Facebook has reportedly signed music licensing contracts with Sony and Universal Music to further enhance the products' applications.

Facebook was initially planning to release the devices in May, but later pushed back the launch date in order to ideal their audio and software, DigiTimes said. Support for video chat and other social features are also included. 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.

The Aloha and Fiona will be the first Facebook products targeting video consumers. Prices for either the Aloha or Fiona have not been leaked.

According to today's report, the devices will feature touchscreens built by LG Display and feature Facebook's own, yet-to-be-revealed Alexa-like personal assistant.

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