The devices won't be Echo or HomePod lookalikes.
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According to a report in Taipai-based website Digitimes, the two models - Aloha and Fiona with 15-inch touchscreens - will be launched around July. "According to estimates by market researcher Canalys, the global market sales of smart speakers are likely to double to over 50 million units in 2018 from 2017", the report states. Instead, they'll compete against smart speakers with displays, like the Echo Show. Obviously, you need to experience Facebook's many products on this device, and that's why a screen is required.
Both designed by Facebook's Building 8 hardware lab, Portal and Fiona will sport 15-inch in-cell touchscreen panels.
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.
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As well as acting as a social media device, it is claimed the smart speakers will play music thanks to licensing deals recently struck by Facebook with Sony and Universal Music. It will also include the laptop-like screen that will also launch soon. A wide-angle lens on the front of the device will be able to recognize users. 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. More "terminal devices" will be rolled out in the coming years, Digitimes says.
Supply chain sources claim Facebook initially planned a May release, however, made a decision to delay launch to further refine software and acoustic qualities.
Mark Zuckerberg's company has reportedly made a decision to delay the release of its Portal-named smart speaker and the other model that's now known for its codename, "Fiona".
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