Facebook Set to Reveal “Portal” Device With Video Calling and Facial Recognition
Facebook is set to unveil a hardware product code-named Portal that’ll compete with smart home devices such as the Amazon Echo Show, according to a report from Cheddar,
Portal will make video calls and use a wide-angle lens that’ll recognize faces tied to Facebook accounts, according to the report, and it’ll accept voice commands a la the Google Assistant and Amazon’s Alexa assistant. The social network intends to pitch it as a way to keep in touch with friends and loved ones.
Facebook’s also secured licensing deals with Sony/ATV and Universal Music Group to build out a music streaming service for Portal, and plans to support third-party services like Netflix and Spotify.
Portal will retail for $499, but that pricing’s subject to change prior to launch. CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s reportedly told employees that he doesn’t care if it generates a profit, but hopes that it’ll “change user behavior” to encourage “phone-like usage” among owners.
Facebook’s been looking to compete with Amazon, Apple, and Google in the hardware space for years, but it’s faced internal challenges. Earlier this year, former Google and DARPA executive Regina Dougan departed from Building 8, the company’s secretive R&D division, after 18 months. Facebook ad exec Andrew Bowsworth was appointed to lead the company’s hardware efforts last summer.
We’ll have to wait and see what happens. You can read the original report at the source link.