Facebook could announce its Smart Display codenamed Portal this week: ReportHARDWARE NETWORKING LINUX SOFTWAREIt Tech Technology

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Monday, September 24, 2018

Facebook could announce its Smart Display codenamed Portal this week: Report

It has been long rumoured that Facebook is working on a Smart Display equipped with its own voice assistant. In fact, reports from January this year suggested that Facebook could launch its Smart Display codenamed ‘Portal’ in at the F8 conference in May, however, we all know that did not happen. Now, a new report claims that Facebook will finally unveil the said Portal Smart Display within this week. Word comes from Cheddar.com that Facebook will announce its competitor to the Amazon Echo Show and Google's third-party Smart Displays in the form of Portal, which will make use of Messenger as the primary application to facilitate video chatting. It is possible that this new Smart Display will be made available in two sizes, priced at $400 for the larger of the two and $300 for the smaller one. The report further suggests that Facebook’s Portal will use make use of AI facial recognition features and that its wide-angle camera will feature a privacy shutter which can cover the camera lens when it’s not in use. Portal is also said to feature Amazon Alexa integration to help play music, videos, watch recipes and more. Earlier reports suggested that the social media giant is developing its own voice recognition tool called Aloha. Dubbed ‘Aloha Voice Testing’ the feature is said to facilitate speech-to-text-to-speech conversion, allowing Messenger users more ways to interact with each other on the platform. It is believed that Aloha users will be able to dictate words to Aloha and the tool will type it out to Messenger. There is no word about Aloha in the latest report and we don’t know if Facebook will announce the same alongside Portal. With the launch of Portal, Facebook will the fourth tech giant to enter the nascent smart speaker/display space. Companies like Amazon and Google can be seen betting big on devices powered by digital voice assistants. Amazon recently launched 11 Alexa-powered devices, while Google’s third-party Smart Displays have started hitting the market. Apple is a little behind in both its voice recognition technology and hardware. With Facebook entering the fray, especially with Alexa integration, Google and Apple better watch out.

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