Amazon Echo faces challenge to stay on top of smart speaker market

Amazon Echo faces challenge to stay on top of smart speaker market

Facebook is developing a Smart Speaker with a 15-inch display for release early next year, reports DigiTimes. The report claims that a small pilot production for Facebook's smart speaker has already begun at Pegatron's plants in China. If you're anxious about your brain typing out embarrassing thoughts, Facebook's Building 8 head Regina Dugan said you will be able to keep certain thoughts private.

Facebook is apparently the latest of tech giants to make steps into the intelligent speakers field, as a supply chain source has recently reported that Palo Alto is indeed cooking such a device. Alphabet (GOOGL) has the $129.99 Google Home and Alibaba (BABA) will release its $73 Tmall Genie smart speaker in August.

Amazon is already trying to barge into the home communications market with its new Amazon Echo Show version of its smart speaker, which lets people video call each other over its screen. Rivals have been working on smart home frameworks for quite some time, but not Facebook, so the social network is a laggard there, too.

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Pegatron is a Taiwan-based manufacturer that's also responsible for fulfilling orders for Apple's iPhones and Microsoft's Xbox One and Surface devices. The speaker will also be equipped with a magnesium-aluminum-alloy chassis. That could suggest that Facebook's rumored device could be pretty expensive if it's including a 15-inch in-cell touchscreen. The company poached Regina Dugan from Alphabet subsidiary Google past year to lead the team, and scooped up engineering exec Rich Heley from Tesla a couple months later. Facebook wants to allow people to type at 100 words per minute through non-intrusive devices, such as a headband.

Joining Dugan at Building 8 is also Bernard Richardson as the division's head of new product introduction. Apple announced last month it is releasing a smart speaker called HomePod.

Research firm Strategy Analytics has reported that worldwide smart speaker shipments reached 5.9 million units in 2016, 4.2 million of which were shipped in the fourth quarter of 2016.

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Well, the company is going to skip voice recognition functions that we see on other smart speakers.

The market is soon to be flooded with smart speakers from different makers.

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