Social media giant Facebook is reportedly working on a streaming device, like Amazon’s Fire Stick that would plug into a TV to offer access to online content. The new streaming hardware will be part of the company’s Portal family of devices, featuring a camera, combining video chatting with TV viewing and Augmented Reality (AR), Variety.com reported on Friday.
The company has recently approached Netflix, Disney, and HBO about adding their content to its hardware. The device will reportedly include microphones, speaker, and a camera. It will be based on a customised version of Android.
“For its entry into the TV streaming space, Facebook isn’t just looking to take on Roku and Fire TV. Instead, the company is using its existing Portal platform to put video chatting front and centre. To that end, the new Portal TV hardware will feature a camera and integrated far-field microphones. Previous reports have indicated that it will sit on top of a TV set, which should allow it to easily capture the room for video chats,” Variety writes.
In addition, Facebook is set to launch an updated version of its video chat device ‘Portal’ later this year.
Andrew Bosworth, Vice President of Facebook’s AR and Virtual Reality (VR) has also confirmed that the company has a lot more to unveil “later this fall” related to Portal.
Portal was launched in November 2018. While the smaller device was priced at $199, the larger “Portal Plus” was made available for $349 with a 10-inch display and 15-inch display, respectively.
The smart camera-enabled device is also powered by Amazon’s voice assistant Alexa and comes with front cameras.