Facebook is reportedly working on a voice-activated digital assistant. The new product could compete with Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri and the Google assistant.
There have been ongoing reports that Facebook worked on the new initiative since 2018. The company’s new Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality groups are reportedly working on the voice assistant technology. The AR and VR departments are responsible for developing and promoting futuristic products.
According to some former Facebook employees, spearheading the initiative is the director of AR/VR and Facebook Assistant, Ira Snyder. The social media giants are also reportedly talking to some investors in the smart speaker market.
The new Facebook Portal video chat speaker and soon coming Oculus headsets would be great platforms to explore the digital assistant.
Facebook might be treading on a market that is already taken. Amazon’s Alexa already has nearly 70 per cent of the smart speaker market, while Google Assistant has 30 per cent. Apple’s HomePod is its own voice assistant version that is outside the iPhone, but it’s yet to take off.
Facebook seems to have big plans of competing with Artificial Intelligence technology. It silently acquired the AI assistant start-up, Ozlo, in 2017. It also recently went public with a venture called M, a platform that can translate conversations, connect food and music apps and even hail a cab.
Facebook should hold its annual F8 developer conference at the end of April 2019. There might be an unveiling then.
Stay tuned to Plat4om for more updates on this.