Facebook is planning to enter hardware product market and the tech giant in the wake of this it will be launching a video chat product. The product will be named as “Portal” and it will be launched in May 2018. “Portal” will compete with Amazon’s Echo Show and Google Assistant- enabled touchscreens.
As per the report by online portal Cheddar, “Portal” will be the first finished hardware product from Facebook’s secretive Building 8 lab and may see the light of the day in May. It will be the time when Facebook organises its annual F8 developer conference.
The report claimed that Facebook plans to sell the device for $499 through pop-up stores as well as online. “Portal” is seen as a competition to Amazon Echo Show and four Google Assistant-powered smart speakers that were launched at CES 2018 this week.
The four new smart displays include devices made by Sony, Samsung-owned JBL, LG and Lenovo. These devices feature a touchscreen that can be used to display visual information to accompany its responses, as well as play video and conduct video calls.
“Portal” will be equipped with a wide-angle lens that is capable of recognising individual faces and associating them with their Facebook accounts. The social media giant also intends to let “Portal” access outside streaming services like Spotify and Netflix.
Meanwhile, in a bid to get a billion people to use Virtual Reality (VR), Facebook-owned Oculus is set to launch its first standalone VR headset in China in partnership with Chinese handset maker Xiaomi.
“The new Oculus VR headset called Mi ‘VR Standalone’, is essentially the same headset as ‘Oculus Go’, a standalone headset that Oculus first unveiled in October,” Recode reported late Monday.
“Launching as a hardware partner with Xiaomi means Facebook can dip a toe into China without having to deal with censorship issues, or storing user data and information,” the report added. The new VR headset was unveiled at a press conference alongside Qualcomm — another Oculus partner during the ongoing “Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2018” here.