Rumor: Facebook To Announce Its Own ‘Portal’ Smart Speaker
According to sources from Cheddar, Facebook is planning to unveil its own hardware smart speaker, dubbed ‘Portal’. The Portal smart speaker would include a screen and was supposed to be unveiled earlier, but the product faced a delay after Facebook was entangled in the Cambridge Analytica data breach and scandal.
Given the recent concerns regarding privacy, the Portal speaker will feature a webcam which you will be able to cover with a built-in sliding cover mechanism. According to the rumors, this sliding mechanism wasn’t featured on the original design and has been added after the growing privacy concerns.
Facebook itself doesn’t have a smart assistant yet, but the company would opt for Amazon’s Alexa digital assistant instead. A raw mock-up of Facebook’s smart speaker has also surfaced courtesy of Pocketnow, which shows heavy similarities with Amazon’s existing Echo Show smart device.
Aside from the Oculus brand owned by the company (which produces the virtual reality Rift-headsets), this would be the first hardware device that Facebook announces and launches. Rumors about the Facebook POrtal device have been surfacing for a while now, and the adaptation of screens into the speakers has been gaining popularity with Amazon’s devices. A couple of other companies such as Lenovo have already released such digital assistants with a display, and Google is reportedly working on their own version as well.