Facebook 'Portal' Device To Compete With Amazon Echo And Google Home

One of the strangest things in modern society is that so many people have decided that they are perfectly cool with having a little device in the corner of their living room that listens to everything they say and has all of their personal details.

Nope, can't see anything going wrong with that at all.

Regardless of any paranoid concerns though, Alexa and the 'Amazon Echo' have proven massively popular and, if you've got nothing to hide, you've got nothing to worry about, I guess.

The Google Assistant speaker and Amazon's Echo - Alexa Voice Service presented at the IFA in Berlin (Credit: PA)
The Google Assistant speaker and Amazon's Echo - Alexa Voice Service presented at the IFA in Berlin (Credit: PA)

In fact, it has been so successful that Google have also entered the fray with 'Google Home', the search giant's entry into the intelligent personal assistant market.

Now Facebook are planning to have a crack at it with its first ever hardware device, called 'Portal'.

The device will enter a market dominated by Amazon's Echo and the new Echo Show - a sort of upgraded Echo with a screen on it, amongst other additions - despite not being exactly the same as Amazon's device.

A news report published online by Cheddar said: "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.'

"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."

So there you have it. By the end of the year we could have our Facebook account sat in the corner of our room, waiting for us to tell it about what we're having for dinner.

The report also claims that Facebook are testing a system that would use facial recognition software to link faces to an individual's Facebook profile. The device will also have a laptop-sized touch screen display.

Other features will include a wide-angle camera as well as a microphone for people to communicate with the device.

It has been reported that Zuckerberg has also recently signed huge music licensing deals with Sony/ATV and Universal Music Group.

 Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg who will be hoping Facebook's Portal is a success Credit: PA)
Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg who will be hoping Facebook's Portal is a success Credit: PA)

This suggests that they plan to make the device compatible with streaming services like Netflix and Spotify.

It's looking like one of these devices could set you back about $500 (£370) which is a decent whack more than the Echo Show and Google Home costs.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Tom Wood

Tom Wood is a freelance journalist and LADbible contributor. He graduated from University of London with a BA in Philosophy before studying for a Masters in Journalism at the University of Salford. He has previously written for the M.E.N Group as well as working for several top professional sports clubs. Contact him on [email protected]

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