Facebook is reportedly working on a video chat device that can recognize users’ faces. The proposed video chat device is said to be similar to the Amazon’s recently announced Echo Show and is codenamed as Aloha.
According to a report published by Business Insider, the device Aloha will feature a large touchscreen along with a camera and speakers. It will be capable of recognizing people’s faces when they come into its view. Facebook is planning to use Android OS and a 360-degree camera for the device.
The device is being developed by Facebook’s research lab named ‘Building 8’. The prototypes of Aloha have reportedly been tested in some of its employee’s homes in recent months. The company plans to release the device in May 2018.
The social networking company has conducted many marketing surveys for project Aloha and it has noticed concerns that the device could be used to spy on users. According to the report, a person with the knowledge of the matter also told that to alleviate the concerns about privacy, Facebook will adopt creative ways to market Aloha. It could be pitched as a device for letting the elder people easily communicate with their families.
Moreover, apart from project Aloha, ‘Building 8’ is also working on a smart speaker akin to the Amazon Echo, a 360-degree camera, and some wearable devices like smart glasses and a sensor equipped necklace.
A spokesperson for Facebook said in a statement,
“We are excited about our long-term investments in virtual reality, augmented reality, and consumer hardware. We believe these new technologies have the potential to bring the world closer together in entirely new ways, and we’ve built great teams with strong leadership in each of these areas. Bringing these teams closer together will help us move even faster as we continue to invest in our 10-year roadmap.”