Apparently, Facebook currently has its fingers in too many pies. Off late, we have been seeing some reports suggesting that social network giant is trying its luck in consumer electronics goods.
Now, we have come across a fresh report by Bloomberg that claims Facebook is working on a video chat device for use in the home. It is said to be the "first major hardware product" by the company's experimental Building 8 lab. The publication claims to have obtained the information from people familiar with the matter. The video chat device will feature a touchscreen measuring between 13-inch and 15-inch diagonally.
It is likely to run on Android OS, but the version has not been specified. Other than that, the device will also come equipped with a wide-angle camera, and AI-powered microphones and speakers. While the device is still in the prototype phase, Facebook is testing it in "people's homes".
Its large display and "smart camera technology' will help people feel as if they are in the same room despite being miles apart physically. If you remember, Mark Zuckerberg announced that Facebook's mission is to bring close people closer.
As mentioned earlier in the article, the upcoming video chat device is meant for use in the living room. Probably, it will have a thin, vertical stand to hold the display. Reportedly, the software in the device will let the camera automatically scan for people in its range and lock onto them. For example, the camera could zoom onto a painting that a child brought home from school to show to a parent who is away.
While Facebook also plans to include a 360-degree camera into the device, it won't be ready in time for the initial launch. According to the publication, the video chat device is expected to get unveiled at the F8 developer conference in next spring. As for the pricing, it is said to cost "a few hundred dollars".
In related news, Facebook is also rumored to be developing a touch-screen operated AI-powered smart speaker. While it is said to be designed by the company's Building 8 as well, it will be built by Taiwan-based company Pegatron Technology.