Facebook is working to develop a voice assistant to rival the likes of Amazon.com Inc's Alexa, Apple's Siri and Alphabet's Google Assistant.
"We are working to develop voice and AI assistant technologies that may work across our family of AR/VR products including Portal, Oculus and future products," a Facebook spokesperson told Reuters in an e-mailed response.
Earlier in the day, CNBC reported about the development, saying that the team behind the technology has been contacting vendors in the smart speaker supply chain.
However, as per the report, it remains unclear how exactly Facebook envisions people using the assistant, but it could potentially be used on the company’s Portal video chat smart speakers, the Oculus headsets or other future projects.
This alleged product would differ from Facebook’s “M” AI assistant released for Messenger in 2015. That project never took off in any significant way and was eventually axed by the company in 2018. The company has made its own hardware push with Portal, but it depends on Alexa for anything beyond simple activities.
As pointed out by The Verge, the team behind this assistant, if it should see the light of day, suggests the upcoming assistant might be initially tied to an Oculus project.
It would make sense for Facebook to offer its voice assistant on Portal and any future hardware released by the company, however, what remains to be seen is whether the assistant would also be available on Facebook's apps.
There’s no word on when Facebook may officially unveil the assistant.
With inputs from Reuters
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