Add Facebook to the growing list of technology firms reportedly interested in building a smart speaker for your home.
Sources reportedly familiar with the social network's plans tell DigiTimes that the connected gadget is being designed by Facebook's Building 8 and will feature a sizable 15-inch touchscreen display. By comparison, Amazon's Echo Show uses a much smaller 7-inch screen.
The panel, which is said to use in-cell technology, is being supplied by LG Display with the product itself featuring a magnesium aluminum alloy. Pegatron is manufacturing the device in China and has reportedly already started a small pilot production run.
Unsurprisingly, the device is said to focus more on image display than voice recognition technology although I suspect the latter will also be part of the overall package. It wouldn't be a stretch to envision Facebook baking in the ability to interact with the social network on the device, perform video calls, record videos and more.
Research firm Strategy Analytics notes that worldwide smart speaker shipments hit 5.9 million units last year. The majority of those - 4.2 million, to be exact - shipped in the fourth quarter alone. By 2022, the firm expects the smart speaker market to be valued at $5.5 billion.
Facebook's tentative plan is to launch its speaker sometime in the first quarter of 2018, we're told.
Mockup via TechCrunch