Facebook has been rumoured to enter the smart speaker market early next year, according to a report by Taiwan-based DigiTimes. The report, which comes from a source in contact with the "upstream supply chain", claims that the smart speaker will include a 15-inch touchscreen display.
The social media site, which has nearly 2 billion users, can put up tough competition against Amazon's Echo, Google Home or the yet to release Apple HomePod.
However, unlike the current smart speakers in the market, Facebook does not plan to incorporate voice recognition in its device. The sources claim that this is because Facebook wants to focus more on image display. This could in-turn further Facebook's agenda of promoting its livestreaming and video tools. The device is being reportedly designed by Facebook's Building 8 department.
Reports claim that the device will sport a 15-inch touch panel that is being supplied by LG and have an outer body chassis of a magnesium-aluminum alloy. The manufacturing of the device will be handled by Pegatron Technology who already have orders from Apple and Microsoft as well.
Information regarding the pricing and name were not provided however, some units have already been manufactured by Pegatron, which is claimed to be, by the sources, as a sort of pilot run before they begin mass producing. When the official production will begin isn't known.
Other companies including Samsung, Alibaba and Microsoft also plan on joining this emerging market for smart speakers, which is reportedly going to be valued at $5.5 billion by the end of 2022.