Earlier this month, Facebook announced Portal, a camera-equipped smart device that’s meant to compete with Amazon’s Echo Show. But the company’s hardware ambitions apparently go far beyond that:Cheddaris reporting that Facebook is working on a TV camera that would offer Portal-like video chatting on a bigger screen and allow users to stream content from Facebook Watch.
If the device — said to be codenamed “Ripley” — makes it to market, Facebook would enter into another massive smart home battleground, facing off against Amazon, Apple, Google, and Roku for valuable set-top box space. Facebook’s addition of a camera, which essentially turns your entire TV into a massive Facebook Portal, would be a differentiator for the current marketplace. (Microsoft already tried this exact thing with Skype for the Xbox One’s Kinect camera, down to the in-room tracking.)