Facebook Will Reportedly Launch Two Smart Speakers With Displays In July

Facebook is taking on the smart speaker competition from Amazon Google and Apple

An important thing for any smart home speaker is of course the ability to play music and dance around the house, so you might be interested to know that Facebook has signed music licensing contracts with both Sony and Universal Music. Video calls seem like the most obvious choice for a smart device with a screen and a camera.

The two models will be fitted with 15-inch in-cell touchscreen panels reportedly to be sourced from LG Display, while Taiwan's Pegatron is also reported to be the sole contract assembler of the devices.

Apple has launched the HomePod and Amazon has the Echo smart home speaker series, while Google offers the Home and Home Mini.

Facebook is rumored to have been working on a smart speaker with a touchscreen since previous year.

Contrary to earlier reports, Facebook isn't going to debut its Amazon Echo Show competitor in May.

Facebook will reportedly officially enter the smart speaker market in mid-2018, launching two devices to the world by July at the latest.

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The report cited its sources as saying: "The Aloha model is more sophisticated than Fiona, both designed by Facebook's Building 8 hardware lab". Portal will a wide-angle lens up front for this goal.

If Facebook's Portal device truly features a 15-inch screen, it would more than double the Echo Show in size, which measures up at roughly 7 inches. Sources also claim the new devices will be just the start of a catalogue of new video-centric products to be launched by Facebook over the next five years.

According to today's report, the devices will feature touchscreens built by LG Display and feature Facebook's own, yet-to-be-revealed Alexa-like personal assistant.

But it would also perform other, traditional functions, like allowing users to access third-party streaming services like Spotify and Netflix. But both firms declined to comment on matters concerning clients.

Given Facebook's recent expansion into original video content, via the Facebook Watch platform, this display could also act as a dedicated screen for watching shows.

It's possible that this could raise privacy concerns, however.

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