Bottom line: Facebook's push to bring even more cameras into the home in the wake of its recent privacy and security scandals may seem brazen but until consumers draw a line in the sand, nothing is going to change.
Facebook is developing a camera-equipped device under the codename Ripley that’s part webcam, part set-top box.
Sources familiar with the matter tell Cheddar that the device will sit atop a television and use the set as its display. Packing the same core technology as Facebook’s Portal and Portal+ video calling devices, Ripley will enable video calling capabilities and deliver entertainment services to the living room.
The functionality could allow Facebook to compete against streaming hardware providers like Apple, Roku and Amazon while simultaneously catering to smart speaker / video calling markets.
One person familiar with the project said Facebook plans to announce Ripley next spring although because the device is still in development, that timeline could change. It’s also likely that the device will get a new name that’s more in line with its intended use.
While some would interpret Facebook’s recent privacy- and security-related issues as a sign to slow down or regroup, Facebook is forging ahead. The social network is demonstrating that it’s not willing to surrender in the face of adversity and until user growth stalls or revenue drops off, it’s hard to fault the strategy.