Wednesday, 20 February, 2019

Facebook reportedly working on touchscreen smart speaker

Regina Dugan head of Facebook’s Building 8 R&D lab Regina Dugan head of Facebook’s Building 8 R&D lab
Theresa Hayes | 25 July, 2017, 22:19

The screen would be more than twice the size of the seven-inch touch screen featured on the $229.99 Amazon Show, which launched on June 28.

Facebook is developing a Smart Speaker with a 15-inch display for release early next year, reports DigiTimes.

The social media platform turned tech giant could release an Amazon (AMZN) Echo Show competitor in the first quarter of 2018, supply chain sources told Digiday.

In 2017, smart home hardware and services are expected to contribute revenues of US$83 billion and by 2021, the scale will double and reach US$195 billion with Amazon, Apple, Google and Samsung becoming the top-4 players, the market watchers noted citing research firm figures.

Pegatron is a Taiwan-based manufacturer that's also responsible for fulfilling orders for Apple's iPhones and Microsoft's Xbox One and Surface devices.

The last interesting tidbit from the report is that Facebook's smart speaker is said have been designed by Building 8, Facebook's secretive experimental division. The touchscreen is said to be supplied by LG Display using in-cell technology, while the chassis is constructed from a magnesium-aluminum-alloy.

The patent described multiple elements that could be added to the device; a touch display, speakers, a telephone and karaoke unit. However, Facebook has not confirmed the existence of the device just yet.

But if such a device got people browsing and messaging on Facebook more, it could lock them deeper into its ecosystem where they'll inevitably see Facebook's ads on its smart phone. Amazon seems to be working on stealing Apple's thunder who is working on its music-oriented smart speaker - HomePod, priced at $350.

Do you know more about what's going on in Building 8?

Microsoft's Cortana AI is also set to debut in Harman Kardon's Invoke smart speaker later this fall.

The market is soon to be flooded with smart speakers from different makers.