Facebook is taking on the likes of Amazon's Alexa, Apple's Siri and the Google Assistant with its very own A.I. voice assistant. It's part of the social media company's expansion into hardware and technology, such as the virtual reality Oculus headsets.
According to CNBC, the new initiative has been spearheaded by a team based out of Redmond, Washington, and lead by the director of AV/VR and Facebook Assisstant, Ira Snyder. The team is allegedly already in contact with smart speaker supplier vendors, according to two people familiar with the project.
It's still unknown how Facebook's voice assistant will interact with consumers, but it will most likely use the Oculus headsets, or the already similar Portal video chat smart speakers where users can say "Hey Portal" to place video calls. More Facebook hardware is also expected to be released in the coming future.
Taking on Alexa and Google will not be easy, as they already dominate the smart speaker market with 67% and 30% of U.S. shares respectively, in 2018 alone.
This is not the first time Facebook has tried its luck with a voice assistant. In 2015, the company released M, a personal assistant meant to help users navigate its Messenger app. The initiative failed, however, thanks to its dependability on human assistants instead of full A.I.