Facebook Inc is apparently working on a smart speaker. The new tech category, which was developed most prominently by Amazon.com, Inc. has, for some reason, become the go-to for tech companies in 2017. Don’t bet on one ever coming out of Menlo Park however.
The report of a Facebook smart speaker, untitled as of yet but “FeedPod” is gormless enough to fit, came from Digitimes. The Taiwanese tech outlet has a very mixed track record when it comes to tech rumors. It says that the FeedPod smart speaker would feature a 15 inch touch screen. That seems to make it less of a smart speaker, and more of a stationary tablet.
The FeedPod rumor is unbelievable in many ways because of the clichés it fits into. It’s not impossible that the device could be real, however, but it seems unlikely to be a future triumph for Menlo Park.
Facebook Inc (FB) smart speaker seems pretty dumb
Facebook doesn’t have a voice based chat assistant. Unless the firm is working tirelessly on one behind closed doors, that’s going to be a major obstacle for its attempt to push a smart speaker. Almost all voice assistants out there learn to understand the population by listening to them.
It’s likely that Facebook Inc is very far behind its rivals on that front. The firm has a text based assistant, called M, but it’s very far away from what Apple, Alphabet and Amazon have to offer.
at The Verge has another interesting insight into why the project would, in his words, be “dead on arrival.” People are very concerned if not actively protective about sharing personal info on social media.
Although they might be willing to do so for free on a platform everyone they know uses, they might not be quite so willing to do it so actively. Paying Facebook money to bring an odd blue smart speaker home doesn’t sound like a great way to play to the firm’s corporate image.
Facebook stock won’t move on hardware
Alphabet Inc, when putting together its mobile platform and other non-core offerings, has been able to convince Wall Street that experimentation is useful. The firm has never been able to convince financiers, however, that experimentation is profitable.
For that reason it’s not very likely that Facebook Inc stock would move on its smart speaker. Those a little more long in the tooth will remember the hype around the world-beater Facebook phone.
The HTC First that eventually emerged was not even able to generate hate mail it was so plain. Since then Mark Zuckerberg has made few moves in hardware. The only other piece of consumer electronics that Facebook sells is the Oculus Rift.
The firm is also working on a drone to deliver free internet around the world, but that hardly fits into the same category.
If you’re betting on Facebook stock, nothing should be further from your mind than hardware. The firm will reveal its June quarter financial results on Wednesday after the market closes. That’s the most important part of the firm’s foreseeable future.