According to a report from Bloomberg, Facebook is building a video calling device for the home, in what is essentially a new product category. It apparently has a laptop-sized screen and smart camera technology that gives users the impression of being in the same room as one another.
The technology is being built by Facebook’s Building 8 lab and would represent the first hardware to come out of the experimental unit led by former Google executive Regina Dugan.
The report suggests that the screen includes AI-powered microphones and speakers, as well as a wide-angle camera lens. It’s said to measure 13-15 inches diagonally and the camera could be capable of scanning for people and objects around the room before focusing in on them accordingly.[related-posts]
The earliest possible announcement for it could be at Facebook’s F8 Developer Conference, later this year. At this point, it’s not known for sure if it runs a version of Android or a new proprietary operating system. A 360-degree camera has also been considered, but it’s thought it won’t be ready in time for the launch of the first generation release.
A standalone video calling device would be a way of keeping people tied into the Facebook ecosystem while offering a compelling new way to connect with friends and family over great distances.
Credit: Bloomberg, Android Police