Facebook will reportedly officially enter the smart speaker market in mid-2018, launching two devices to the world by July at the latest.
According to Digitimes, citing sources, both devices – which have been codenamed Aloha and Fiona – will have 15-inch touchscreens. Both devices were allegedly due for a May release initially but Facebook wanted to give itself more time to perfect sound and software.
The 15-inch in-cell touchscreen panels will be sourced from LG display, while Pegatron will be the sole contract assembler of both of the Building 8 designed devices.
Aloha, which will be marketed as ‘Portal’, will be more sophisticated than Fiona – offering facial recognition technology on top of the use of voice commands. 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. Fiona, on the other hand, doesn’t have much information floating about regarding it.
According to the sources, Facebook is planning on building its own video consumer device ecosystem within the next five years, and the smart speaker are the first stage of this process, with more devices expected over the next few years.