Facebook is joining tech giants such as Amazon and Google in an attempt to place a constantly listening “home assistant” device in users’ homes.
Many expected Facebook to reveal their new “smart speakers” at their F8 developer conference, however, the company chose not to do so. Now it seems that the reason behind that decision is that they have plans to release the product in international markets before focusing on the U.S. Recent reports claim that this may be a reaction to increasing speculation in the U.S. surrounding Facebook’s user privacy and data security issues.
Sources state that the company is “mulling a plan” to release the device in international markets before bringing it to the U.S., this follows rumors that device production would begin in June and that production volume had already been cut by 20 percent from original plans. Facebook confirmed these plans to Bloomberg saying that production of the speakers was not being rushed “to ensure that they make the right trade-offs regarding user data.”
Shortly after this, rumors began to circulate that the new speakers would not be released until October 2018, but new reports now claim that the device will not be released in the U.S. before the end of 2018. According to reports, one of Facebook’s smart speakers will feature a camera and touchscreen and will have Facebook Messenger integration. All devices will feature Facebook’s very own smart assistant, which is reportedly based on M, the company’s A.I. program.
The M artificial intelligence program has existed for some time now and has previously been featured as a personal assistant chatbot in Facebook Messenger, but the service was shut down in January. Sources have said that Facebook is likely to name the new smart speaker after the artificial intelligence simply naming it “M.”