Facebook is reportedly releasing two smart speakers later this year to compete with the Amazon Echo. The two devices, apparently codenamed “Fiona” and “Aloha,” could be released as early as July.
Reports about the speakers first surfaced last year, with Business Insider naming Aloha. Bloomberg later revealed the second device and gave more details about how the two would operate, with one being a touchscreen device similar to the Echo Show and the other a more traditional smart speaker.
Today, Digitimes reported the two devices are set to release in July at the latest. Aloha, the larger of the two with a 15-inch touchscreen, will have facial and voice recognition, and will have social features by way of Facebook and Messenger. Video calls seem like the most obvious choice for a smart device with a screen and a camera. The original report claimed that a 13-inch version of Aloha was also in the works.
Comparatively little has been said about Fiona, except that it will supposedly come with a Siri-like assistant. The Digitimes report claims that it will also have a touchscreen, but that runs counter to Bloomberg’s initial report that the second Facebook device would be a standalone speaker. If it is a speaker, it could look something like the modular device Facebook patented last year.
There has been little official word from Facebook about the devices — it didn’t respond to a request for comment. No images of the devices have been released. If Facebook is working on these devices and intends to release them in July, it’d better get a move on showing us what they might look like.
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