Facebook is reportedly getting ready to launch its smart display, called the Portal, this May. The company was rumoured to be working on its smart display last year, previously referred to as Aloha internally. The smart display is being built by Facebook’s Building 8 team which is also working on a range of other hardware products, reports Cheddar.
Facebook’s Portal will focus mostly on its communication features — that is to offer video and audio calls, possibly through Facebook Messenger. The device is expected to feature support for Netflix, and Spotify, too. When we first heard about the product last year, it was rumoured to be sporting a ridiculous 15-inch display. Whether the final version of the device will come with a 15-inch display is unknown, but it is expected to cost way more than other smart displays, coming in at a whopping $499. That’s quite expensive when compared to the Amazon Echo Show or the new Google Assistant-powered smart displays, and Facebook will have to do something unique to justify that price.
What is quite interesting is the fact that Facebook killed its M smart assistant just yesterday. The company said it will use the tech behind M on other Facebook products, so it’s possible we will see a return of the smart assistant on its Portal smart display when it launches this May at the company’s F8 developer conference.
Facebook’s Portal shouldn’t be too different in terms of functionality when compared to all the other smart displays in the market. But whether you really want to put a Facebook product that’s listening to you all the time is obviously the big question. For Facebook, consumer trust will play a crucial role in the success of Portal, but right now, the company has a lot of work to do in order to gain back the trust from consumers — especially with all the recent controversies and privacy concerns surrounding the US Presidential Election.