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Facebook's secret unit is working on a dedicated video chat device meant for homes

A secret division of Facebook, Building 8, is reportedly working on a dedicated video chat device for homes

August 02, 2017 / 12:45 PM IST

A secret division of Facebook, Building 8, is reportedly working on a dedicated video chat device for homes, says a report from Bloomberg.

This will also be the first major hardware product from Building 8 – an experimental product lab – that is "staffed with hardware veterans and led by former Google executive Regina Dugan."

The device which is still being tested "will have a thin, vertical stand that holds a large touchscreen measuring between 13 and 15 inches" said a report on Bloomberg from several sources who asked not to be named.

The video chat device "will include a notebook-sized display intended to make video chat participants separated geographically feel like they’re together in the same space"

It goes on to say that it will be geared to the living room, and will feature a wide-angle camera lens, microphones and speakers powered by artificial intelligence to boost performance.

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The social media giant is also reported to be working on one other product – a standalone smart speaker in competition with Amazon Echo and Google Home.

All of this will be engineered and developed out of Building 8.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, speaking about Building 8, said in a Facebook post in April last year, "We'll be investing hundreds of people and hundreds of millions of dollars into this effort over the next few years. I'm excited to see breakthroughs on our 10-year roadmap in augmented and virtual reality, artificial intelligence, connectivity and other important areas."
first published: Aug 2, 2017 12:11 pm

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