Mark Zuckerberg's company has reportedly chose to delay the release of its Portal-named smart speaker and the other model that's now known for its codename, "Fiona". That's why a smart speaker made by Facebook sounds a lot more intrusive than Google's or Amazon's.
DigiTimes recently learned from supply chain sources that Facebook won't be launching its highly anticipated Portal smart speaker - internally referred to as "Aloha" - this coming May.
The Facebook move is going to further fuel the global smart speaker market.
The speakers will have 15-inch touchscreens, but one of the models will be higher quality - something like a Google Home and Google Home Max. While the smart speakers were initially scheduled to launch in May, Facebook has chose to take some more time "for perfecting the acoustic quality of the gadgets and software modification".
According to the sources, the company was supposed to launch both of the speakers in May but made a decision to push the launch to July.
Ultimately, Facebook's success in the smart speaker world will likely be determined by the quality of its A.I. assistant.
Aloha and Fiona are reportedly being manufactured by Facebook's secretive Building 8 lab.
The devices won't be Echo or HomePod lookalikes. Now, obviously Facebook can see which way the wind is blowing, and so Zuckerberg's social network colossus is also joining the party with its own touch-screen smart speaker, rumored to be launched this July.
It will supposedly feature facial recognition to identify users for accessing Facebook, courtesy of a wide-angle camera on the device's front. Portal will a wide-angle lens up front for this objective.
Facebook has signed music licensing contracts with Sony and Universal Music for smart home speakers, which means both the speakers should offer music streaming services to enrich the device's applications.
But it now seems that Facebook is doubling down on its efforts to create an Echo rival, and may in fact launch two speakers. On the other hand, the Fiona model is believed to have less advanced functionalities, but it will include voice commands.
Facebook is reportedly developing two smart speakers.
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