Facebook to launch smart home speakers in July

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Facebook's smart speakers will be launching by July and are code named Aloha and Fiona, DigiTimes reported Wednesday.

Apple just launched the HomePod, it's own competitor to Amazon's Echos and Google's Homes, arriving late to the smart speaker party - well, Apple sells the speaker primarily as a high-end speaker than a smart one.

The 15-inch in-cell touchscreen panels will be sourced from LG display, while Pegatron will be the sole contract assembler of both of the Building 8 designed devices. However, it's quite clear that Facebook is grooming the upcoming smart speakers to be direct rivals of Amazon's best-selling device, the Echo Show.

He also said that the Portal would only appeal to people who have "already invested" in a smart speaker, making "the uptake of this device even trickier". 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. 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.

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However, according to the reports, Facebook is also working on at least two speaker devices, which including the Apple iPhone famous feature "Siri- style" voice assistant. The two smart home speaker models, code-named Aloha and Fiona, will both have this type of screen with touch-sensors. It will also include the laptop-like screen that will also launch soon. Portal will a wide-angle lens up front for this objective. More "terminal devices" will be rolled out in the coming years, Digitimes says.

That's reportedly pushed later than an originally planned May release, so that Facebook can work on sound quality and software modification. Prices for either the Aloha or Fiona have not been leaked.

Last month, there was a report claiming that Facebook could be prepping the launch of a home video chat device dubbed as "Portal".