Facebook to launch a camera-equipped set-top box with video calling: Report

The Facebook device will use AI to detect and follow people as they move during a video call.

Social networking giant Facebook is developing a camera-equipped set-top box for TVs that would support functionalities like video-calling, a media report said.

Internally codenamed "Ripley", the device would use Artificial Intelligence (AI) to automatically detect and follow people as they move through the frame during a video call, news website Cheddar reported on 16 October.

Apart from facilitating video-chat, the device could also help Facebook compete with the likes of Apple and Amazon in the TV-segment.

A Facebook panel is seen at a movie festival in Cannes, France. Image: Reuters

A Facebook panel is seen at a movie festival in Cannes, France. Image: Reuters

In October, the social networking major launched its smart-speakers, "Portal," which incorporated AI technology to follow user-movements while on a video-chat and remove unwanted background noise during a call.

Priced at $199, sporting a 10-inch display, built-in Amazon Alexa support and pre-loaded with Facebook's own "Watch" video service, the smart speakers would begin shipping in November.

With projects like "Portal" and "Ripley" Facebook is trying to build a consumer-hardware business outside of its virtual reality brand 'Oculus' that was acquired by the social networking giant in March 2014 for nearly $2 billion.

Facebook declined to comment on the subject, the report added.

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