Facebook Working on a Video Chatting Device with Huge Display

In addition to an upcoming HomePod rival with a fifteen-inch screen, Facebook’s secretive “Building 8” hardware lab is also supposedly working on a dedicated video chat device for the home that would make it seem like people are in the same room, according to Bloomberg’s sources who spoke with reporters Mark Gurman and Sarah Frier.

The device will feature a touchscreen that will be as large as a laptop’s display. A previous report pegged the display size at 15-inch, with the panel being supplied by LG. It will also feature a wide-angle camera, microphones, and speakers and will be powered by artificial intelligence “to boost performance.” Facebook is also considering powering the device via Android instead of building its own core OS.

The camera on the video chatting device will automatically scan for people in a room and zoom onto them. In addition, Facebook is also working on a 360-degree camera accessory for the device, though it is unclear if it will be ready in time. The video chatting device could be unveiled by Facebook at its next F8 developer conference next spring.

Along with this video chatting device, Facebook is also working on a standalone smart speaker similar to that of Amazon Echo and Google Home. The company is hiring many of former Apple engineers who worked on Siri to help create its smart assistant. The same assistant will also be found on its video chatting device.

“I’m optimistic that technology can help, that new hardware platforms can chip away at false choices,” she said in April. “If we fail it’s gonna suck.”

According to the report, Zuck & Co. have been poaching Apple engineers to help the company create a Siri-style assistant to power both its wireless speaker and the video chat device.

 


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