Facebook Inc. is working on a video chat device for the home — the first major hardware product from its experimental Building 8 lab.
Featuring a laptop-sized touchscreen, the device represents a new product category and could be announced as soon as next spring’s F8 developer conference, according to people familiar with the matter. They say the large screen and smart camera technology could help farflung people feel like they’re in the same room, which aligns with Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg’s mission of bringing Facebook users closer together. The device is in the prototype phase but is already being tested in people’s homes.
The social media giant is working on at least one other product — a standalone smart speaker that would compete with the Amazon Echo and Google Home, said the people, who asked not be named discussing unannounced products. Facebook is hiring Apple Inc. veterans to help it create a Siri-style voice assistant that would run on both devices, they said.
Facebook is working on a smart speaker and now video chat device to compete with the Amazon Echo ecosystem. I think if anyone could compete with Amazon it would have to be Facebook or Apple because of their large already established user base. We all remember the Facebook Phone rumors but this seems to be legit.