Facebook working on a digital voice device

Move over, Amazon Echo. Cheddar reports that Facebook is readying a video chat device called Portal, marking the social platform’s planned entry into consumer hardware. A major point of differentiation will be Portal’s positioning as a way for families and friends to stay connected through video chatting and other social features. Cheddar cites sources as saying Portal will be equipped with a wide-angle lens that is capable of recognizing individual faces and associating them with their Facebook accounts. Facebook plans a formal product introduction in early May at its annual developer conference and hopes to ship the device in the second half of 2018. The news comes amid increasing criticism of Facebook in some quarters for its role in vetting user-generated content and its influence on global social discourse.

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