Facebook Dives into Home Device Market with Video Chat Product Named “Portal”
Facebook’s Reportedly Set to Launch its Own Smart Home Device Later This Year
The device is designed to work in the home and represents Facebook’s first serious foray into selling consumer hardware, people familiar with the matter said. Rather than position the device as a smart assistant akin to Amazon’s Echo speakers, Facebook intends to pitch Portal as a way for families and friends to stay connected through video chatting and other social features.
There’s been speculation that Facebook could launch such a device since mid-last year when Business Insider first reported that Facebook had filed a patent for a ‘modular electromechanical device’, which some had speculated could be its own version of a smartphone.
Facebook plans a formal product introduction in early May at its annual developer conference and hopes to ship the device in the second half of 2018.
Facebook, too, needs to be a part of that evolution. According to reports, the new device will include a large touchscreen, a wide-angle camera, microphones, speakers, and will be capable of recognizing faces, using Facebook’s existing tech.