Report: Details emerge on Facebook’s planned video chat device

Dive Brief:

  • More details have emerged around a rumored video chat device being developed by Facebook, per a report in Cheddar citing unnamed sources familiar with the matter. Called Portal, the hardware is set to be released at Facebook’s annual F8 conference in early May and will be available for consumers to purchase in late in 2018 for $499.
  • Portal’s focus will be on standard video chatting between friends and family, rather than he the types of artificial intelligence-based assistants that power other IoT devices like Amazon’s Echo products or Google Home. Cheddar reported the device will feature a wide-angle camera to recognize users’ faces, respond to voice commands and stream services like Netflix and Spotify.
  • This news comes after Facebook announced plans to discontinue its voice assistant M on Jan. 19. Last August, multiple anonymous sources told Bloomberg that Facebook was working on a similar device to Portal that was to be announced at this year’s F8 and hit shelves in 2018. The company at the time had just acquired the AI-focused startup Ozlo.



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