The Facebook Portal speaker no-one asked for may land in July with 15-inch display

Facebook is planning to launch two smart speakers with massive 15-inch displays this summer, according to new reports.

The Echo Show rivals will be premium audio devices according to a report from DigiTimes on Wednesday.

One of the devices, codenamed Aloha and Fiona, will likely be the high-end Portal speaker rumoured during CES in January.

According to today’s report, the devices will feature touchscreens built by LG Display and feature Facebook’s own, yet-to-be-revealed Alexa-like personal assistant.

That 15-inch display is more than double the size of the 7-inch display sitting within the Echo Show, but what could it be used for?

Related: Amazon Echo Show review

Amazon Echo Show

According to today’s report it will offer video chat, support voice commands and, naturally have a heavy focus on social networking. It’ll also offer facial recognition technology thanks to a wide-angled lens on the front of the device, the report says.

Facebook Watch portal?

Initial reports last summer claimed Facebook was working on a speaker that would make it easier to make video calls and to view photos on a larger display and now it appears to be coming to fruition.

Given Facebook’s recent expansion into original video content, via the Facebook Watch platform, this display could also act as a dedicated screen for watching shows.

According to a report from Cheddar back in January, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg doesn’t care whether Portal ‘generates a profit’, he just wants to ‘change user behaviour and encourage phone-like usage’. That report said the speaker was going to cost $399.

Facebook’s pending arrival on the scene follows a big push from Google at CES 2018. A host of smart displays, from the likes of Sony, Lenovo and LG, which are based on the Google Assistant, are coming this year.

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