Facebook's secretive hardware lab is working on a smart speaker | Cult of Mac

Facebook’s secretive hardware lab is working on a smart speaker


Apple's new HomePod smart speaker is ready to rock your house.
HomePod will launch in December, but supplies will be constrained.
Photo: Apple

Apple’s freshly unveiled HomePod speaker may soon get some competition from its Silicon Valley neighbor Facebook. The social network giant is supposedly developing a smart speaker of its own and based on a report out of Asia, it could pack some features that HomePod can’t match.

Facebook’s speaker will allegedly shun voice inputs like the smart speakers made by Apple, Google and Amazon. Instead the Facebook speaker will pack a 15-inch touch screen panel.

Facebook vs HomePod

While Apple’s HomePod will be available by the end of 2017, Facebook’s competitor won’t be out until the first quarter of 2018. DigiTimes claims the speaker will be manufactured by Pegatron Technology. The company is one of Apple’s iPhone manufacturing partners.

Tech companies are rushing to dominate the smart speaker market as it emerges. Google, Amazon and Apple have revealed their products but more could be on the way. Microsoft, Samsung and even Alibaba are all rumored to be developing their own speakers too.

LG Display will supply the touch panel for Facebook’s smart speaker. The device will allegedly have a magnesium-aluminum-alloy chassis. Production on a small batch of prototype units is supposedly underway in China right now.


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