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Over the past few quarters, the smart speaker segment has exhibited a surge of growth. The last quarter saw companies such as Google and Amazon well sell over 11 million devices. This trend has been noticed by other tech companies as well, who are eager to jump on the bandwagon with devices of their own. Well, according to a report published in the Cheddar, Facebook will finally be unveiling its Portal device next week.

The device is expected to function in a manner similar to Amazon’s Echo Show, focusing as a video chat device. Now this is pure hearsay, but Facebook had actually planned to release the device during the F8 conference. However, it appears as if the Cambridge Analytica fiasco forced Facebook to postpone its announcement for calmer times.

From what we have heard about the device, Portal will be somewhat similar to the Echo Show however, it will also have some unique features. For one, the device will have a shutter that can be used to cover the camera when the it is not in active use. Considering that Mark Zuckerberg is said to use duct tape to cover his system’s camera and microphones, this is not surprising and, in fact a definite improvement.

Facebook would also have a major advantage in terms of user identity, as it could easily associate people with their social media accounts using facial recognition technology. Of course, this would also be subject to national laws and policies

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