Facebook is Supposedly Working on a Video Chat Tablet

By James O Malley on at

It seems that Mark Zuckerberg isn't content with Facebook being merely the place where your dad shares dubious memes from Eurosceptic Facebook groups - as the company is reportedly working on taking an even deeper dive into hardware.

According to Bloomberg, the company's skunkworks division is thought to be working on two devices. One is essentially yet another voice assistant in the mould of Google Home and Amazon Alexa, and the other sounds a tablet crossed with an Amazon Echo Show, that would be used for video calls.

This latter device will apparently have a laptop-sized 13-15" screen and a "vertical stand" (making it sound like, ugh, it will work only in portrait mode), and will have built in speakers and microphones for obvious reasons. Facebook is said to be building it to run Android, rather than any custom operating system, though we'd be surprised if the end product ended up looking anything like Android to the end user.

Perhaps most intriguingly, it will supposedly use artificial intelligence to help the camera focus - for example, emphasising faces, or if someone holds something up, having that emphasised by the focusing.

All in all, its an intriguing move by Facebook, which is clearly worried by the fact that it doesn't 'own' a hardware space itself, like rivals Google, Apple and Amazon do. And it sort of makes sense too, as Facebook already has the contact list and messaging thing sorted with Facebook Messenger - so perhaps this is the next natural evolution? [Bloomberg via Slashgear]