A Facebook smart speaker is currently being manufactured, according to a Taiwan news source, following gadgets made by Google, Amazon, and Apple…
Facebook is reportedly making its own smart speaker, complete with a 15-inch touch screen, according to Digitimes. The new gadget will focus more on images rather than voice, which is probably the reason for such a relatively large screen.
Facebook Smart Speaker with Touch Screen Under Development
Digitimes reports Pegatron Technology will manufacture the tech device, with its first release in Q1 of 2018. But, the company declined to provide any details about its clients or orders. A small pilot run has already been produced, designed by Building 8, Facebook’s secretive hardware facility. It supposedly sports an LG touch screen, surrounded by a magnesium-aluminum-alloy chassis. Pegatron already handles orders from Apple, Surface, and Xbox.
Facebook is also staying silent at this time, not providing any comment. While unknown, the home gadget might offer a more immersive Messenger experience and/or bring the News Feed into a new environment. In February, there were more than 400 million of 1.2 billion Messenger users who communicated through Facebook audio and video features.
Facebook apparently is trying to tap into the emerging yet gigantic smart speaker market. In 2016 alone, there were 5.9 million units sold. Of those, 4.2 million sold in the last quarter of the year, according to data provided by research group Strategy Analytics. The smart speaker market will reach $5.5 billion by the year 2022, according to the latest estimates.
With Facebook’s remarkable social graph, it’s sensible for the company to foray into this sector. However, since the social network lacks voice recognition technology and does not have the power of the Google Knowledge Graph, it’s curious what applications the smart speaker will feature outside of social media. One clue comes from Regina Dugan, head of Facebook’s Building 8 R&D lab, who recently said, “Messenger is your virtual living room.”
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