Facebook planning standalone AR messaging device 'Portal'?

Facebook planning standalone AR messaging device 'Portal'?

According to a report in a U.S. website Cheddar.com, the device, known as "Portal", will be controlled using voice commands and include augmented and virtual reality features along with facial recognition. The device may also play nice with streaming services like Spotify and Netflix so people can use it to play music, TV shows, and movies. Facebook will reportedly launch Portal in May 2018, which should see the device unveiled at their annual F8 developer conference.

Facebook did not immediately return request for comment from CNBC.

Portal will be the first product to emerge from Facebook's troubled consumer hardware lab, Building 8.

Word has it that Facebook is developing its own home video chat device.

Facebook is about to jump into the consumer hardware business in a big way with a video chat device named "Portal", which will put it in direct competition with Amazon's hugely popular line of Echo voice-controlled devices, Cheddar has learned.

The gadget, called Portal, will feature a wide-angle camera that can recognise individual faces. 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. It said that Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg told employees he wants the device to change user behavior and encourage phone-like usage among owners. It will also allow users to access their Facebook accounts and other social media sites such as Twitter.

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