23 May 2019
Facebook has been reported to be working on its own smart speaker for quite some time. The launch of the same was said to have been delayed because of the Cambridge Analytics data scandal but it seems like the company has resumed working towards the release. It is apparently working on new digital assistant "Aloha" spotted by independent researcher Jane Manchun Wong (@wongmjane).
The Aloha assistant has been spotted in the standard Facebook Messenger application. It is powered by voice recognition capabilities but that's pretty much it can do at the moment. This suggests that Facebook might be in the early stages of testing the assistant and is currently working on perfecting the voice recognition. But it is also possible that the assistant's full capabilities are limited only to Facebook employees.
And this is what the app icon looks like (at least as an internal prototype) pic.twitter.com/mfnOvcCwwh— Jane Manchun Wong (@wongmjane) August 21, 2018
Either way, Facebook is definitely taking steps forward to enter the market of smart speakers which is getting more competitive with time. It already has established players like Amazon and Google with Samsung being the newest entrant. Even Apple has been on the market for one year now.
It is hard to say when exactly we might see Facebook releasing the smart speaker or at least the Aloha digital assistant. We will keep you on the all the latest developments related to both.