Jared Newman | Fast Company | Source URL
After calling off the launch of a smart display device earlier this year, Facebook is reportedly planning to announce it next week. Here are the details from Cheddar‘s Alex Heath, who cites unnamed sources:
The main feature will be video chat, and Facebook will use facial recognition to tag users and follow them around the room. (Amazon’s Echo Show and Google-powered smart displays don’t identify users’ faces, though some security cameras do.)
The device will have a privacy shutter to disable the camera tracking, but amazingly, Facebook may have only thought to include this in response to its own recent privacy scandals.
While the device was once rumored to rely a homegrown voice assistant to handle basic commands, Portal may instead lean on Amazon’s Alexa for things like music, recipes, and news briefings.
Portal could come in small and large sizes for $300 and $400, respectively.
We reached out to Facebook for comment and will update if we hear back.
Recent polls have shown that a majority of Americans don’t trust Facebook to protect their personal information. For the most part, this doesn’t appear to have stopped people from using the social network, but buying a Facebook-powered, always-on video camera is a much bigger ask than habitually opening an app. We’ll see how the company pitches it to the public soon enough.