He also says that the smart speaker industry "will be a tough nut to crack for Facebook", and that it would be "an Everest-like uphill climb to compete with the likes of Amazon". Both devices were allegedly due for a May release initially but Facebook wanted to give itself more time to flawless sound and software.
Aloha, which will be marketed as "Portal", will be more sophisticated than Fiona - offering facial recognition technology on top of the use of voice commands. Support for video chat and other social features are also included. A wide-angle lens on the front of the device will be able to recognize users. An important thing for any smart home speaker is of course the ability to play music and dance around the house, so you might be interested to know that Facebook has signed music licensing contracts with both Sony and Universal Music. With speakers themselves becoming ubiquitous, it's important to set the product apart with a powerful differentiator - which may wind up being some interesting integrations with Facebook itself. Prices for either the Aloha or Fiona have not been leaked.
This is only the beginning though, as according to sources, Facebook intends to produce and entire range of video enabled devices and the touch-screen smart home speaker is the first of these developments.
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