The device, code-named Ripley, would position Facebook to compete with its Silicon Valley rivals in a bid for the living room. It would harness the same technology incorporated in Facebook’s newly launched Portal video chat device.
Earlier this month, the social network unveiled Portal and Portal+, two video chat devices designed to make you feel like you and your friends are hanging out in the same room. These devices are built on Facebook Messenger and Amazon’s Alexa smart assistant, and use artificial intelligence to guide the camera — panning, zooming and reframing the shot as the user walks around freely.
This new TV device would incorporate these same video features, and also allow users to stream entertainment content — likely, videos from Facebook Watch. This product would launch next spring, according to Cheddar, though the box is still under development and plans could change.
It remains an open question how receptive consumers will be to these new, camera-equipped Facebook products, in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica privacy scandal and last month’s privacy breach, in which unnamed malicious actors stole the personal information of 30 million users.
Facebook did not respond to Deadline’s request for comment.