Facebook Portal: a rumored $499 Amazon Echo-like device

REUTERS  Regis Duvignau Facebook will reportedly announce their own home speaker this year

REUTERS Regis Duvignau Facebook will reportedly announce their own home speaker this year

"Portal" is seen as a competition to Amazon Echo Show and four Google Assistant-powered smart speakers that were launched at CES 2018 this week.

Like Amazon's screen-equipped Echo Show, Facebook's Portal is created to work indoors and be controlled through voice commands.

It will also be capable of linking up with third-party services, such as Spotify and Netflix.

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Rumors about Portal come after Facebook last month started using facial-recognition technology to notify users when someone uploads their image without tagging them.

Facebook did not respond to The Daily Caller News Foundation's request for comment by time of publication. The social network has also been testing a facial-recognition account recovery system to help users get back into their account after it's locked.

Facebook is now looking to become a big part of everybody's homes by launching "Portal", the social media giant's first foray into the hardware industry.

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With Building 8, Facebook hopes to eventually sell a suite of consumer products that can compete with offerings from the likes of Amazon, Google, and Apple.

Portal would sport a screen that can be used to video chat Facebook friends, and it'll double as a streaming music/video device as well. 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. Facebook's Oculus VR division is separately planning to release a cheaper standalone headset called Oculus Go this year.

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