Sources have reported that Facebook is working on an Amazon Echo Show competitor that was launched recently. The report coming from Business Insider said the new video communication device is being developed in the secretive Building 8, Facebook’s headquarter for hardware projects. Similar reports have surfaced earlier at the start of this month, so there is definitely some water in this new report.
Internally known as Aloha, the tabletop device will have a camera, a speaker, and a touchscreen exactly like the Echo Show. However, you may not see the device before May 2018 as there are privacy concerns Facebook is trying to offset. Reports say the device will be able to identify people using Facebook’s database. Naturally, this would upset those who are more concerned about privacy.
Facebook has already been testing the device with employees and doing some market surveys for feedback. All the resulting data points to consumers insecurity with such a feature. This is one of the main issues that Facebook would like to resolve before launch. This is also one of the reasons price and availability are yet not decided. One way Facebook might look around the issue is by naming the device under a different new brand.
The product itself is shrouded in mystery and not much about it is known as of now. Business Insider did note that the device would be priced around the $499 mark. However, this is not the final price point. Until the privacy issues get resolved, the pricing and availability are to remain unclear.
Buiding 8 is a the center of a new zest that the CEO of Facebook has found in himself. he has promised to pour millions in it. Apart from Aloha, there is a smart speaker also allegedly in the works there, as reported patents have shown. Other than that, a 360-degree camera and smart glasses are long term projects where Facebook will try its luck. Eventually, the products are to be sold in retail stores across the world.