Smart speakers are all the rage right now in tech, so it’s not all that surprising that Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) is reportedly looking to enter the space. DIGITIMES reports that Facebook is exploring a smart speaker, but instead of being run by a voice-powered virtual assistant like other companies’, it may use a 15-inch touchscreen as the primary interface. Prominent contract manufacturer Pegatron is expected to begin volume manufacturing the device ahead of a launch in Q1 2018. Pilot production has already begun, according to the report.
LG Display is said to be supplying the display in-cell display panels, and the speaker will feature a magnesium-aluminium alloy chassis. This all comes as Facebook has been ramping up its hardware efforts, a department known as Building 8. The company poached Regina Dugan from Alphabet subsidiary Google last year to lead the team, and scooped up engineering exec Rich Heley from Tesla a couple months later.