Published: Sun, January 14, 2018
Research | By Jody Lindsey

Facebook planning standalone AR messaging device 'Portal'?

Facebook planning standalone AR messaging device 'Portal'?

Facebook wants to be in your house with microphones and cameras in more ways than one, and instead of just being installed on your smartphone or tablet, the social networking giant is working on a new voice-enabled video chat product called Portal.

Facebook is about to jump into the home device market with its video chat system named Portal putting it in the same league as the Amazon Alexa. Cheddar's sources say Facebook is planning to unveil the device in early May and begin selling it via pop-up stores and online in the second half of the year. It looks like a discovered past year is part of the Portal project.

Portal will feature a wide-lens camera that can detect faces and associate them with their Facebook accounts. A Facebook spokesperson said in an email, "We are not commenting on these speculative reports".

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The product was designed by a mysterious Facebook department known as Building 8, that is reportedly developing "science fiction-like brain-scanning technology" and other futuristic projects. That's significantly more expensive than Amazon's Echo devices, Google, and Apple's.

Thus far, Facebook's hardware efforts have largely focused on so-called "Facebook phones", but that never really went anywhere. Let's hope Portal does better than the.

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