Facebook plans to release a smart speaker with a 15-inch touchscreen in early 2018, according to a new report from Digitimes citing sources in the Asian supply chain.
The speaker is reportedly being developed by Facebook’s consumer hardware lab, Building 8. Business Insider recently uncovered a Building 8 patent that describes a modular hardware device that could function like a speaker with a screen.
The device will be manufactured by Pegatron and sold in the first quarter of 2018, according to Digitimes. Amazon recently started selling a similar speaker called the Echo Show that features a large display.
A Facebook spokesperson didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
Building 8 is led by former Google executive Regina Dugan and is tasked with shipping consumer hardware to millions of people. The team is also working on more futuristic projects, like the ability to type using only your mind and sensors that can “feel” spoken language through human skin.
Facebook has been quietly filling Building 8 with hardware experts from Apple, Google, Motorola, GoPro, and other tech companies. The secretive team has also hired from the likes of Walmart and Amazon to build a retail and e-commerce operation for selling its forthcoming gadgets.
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