A little less than an year ago, we discussed the possibility of how disruptive a Facebook AI could possibly be to the home automation market. (not much) And even though Mark Zuckerberg was heavily insisting that his company isn’t developing a home assistant AI, it turns out, tech media outlets think that things might have changed.
The Facebook Smart Speaker
At the end of July, a new report by Digitimes took the attention of the home automation world by storm. In mere seconds, all the major tech outlets were reporting of a new smart speaker developed by Facebook Building 8 research group. The hype was real and to an extent, it still is.
Nevertheless, you should take the report with a grain of salt. Digitimes is not exactly a credible media to rely on for tech leaks. In fact, most of their stories have been a hit or miss. They are basically much like a cat trading on the stock market. Mostly, the outlet seems to bet on plausible news that might be true and in case of success, they take full credit for leaking the information earlier.
Now, we discussed the Facebook AI smart speaker a whole year prior and what we’ve stated has pretty much stayed the same. If anything, our arguments are now more valid than ever.
Lack of Support, Lack of a Competitive Edge
For a new piece of technology that heavily relies on existing devices in your home to be viable, you need support. Even though the Google Home AI assistant is arguably ages ahead of Amazon Alexa, the smart speaker still has a hard time competing with the Echo, due to the mass integration and support of Alexa on all kinds of smart devices. Most smart home hubs support Amazon’s voice assistant, in addition to almost every type of home automation product imaginable.
What’s more, Google Home still has a shot due to its integration with the huge array of free and paid services offered by Google (Alphabet). And what would a Facebook smart speaker bring to the table?
Of course, we don’t want to be grim, negative or bias. Quite the opposite, in fact. If Facebook ends up unveiling a new Smart Speaker, it will do wonders for the home automation market.
First and foremost, Facebook has a massive audience. As seen by the questionable report, the news of a Facebook smart speaker has the potential to blow up the tech scene. This in turn results in better home automation adoption and reach.
What’s more, much like the iOS vs. Android brawl spawned a culture-defying competitiveness, a battle of the biggest tech companies might help with the innovation of the smart speaker technology.
Facebook’s AI might Surprise Everyone
Another thing Facebook has going for them is their artificial intelligence, machine learning algorithms and tons of personal data they have on their users. Even though we haven’t seen anything from Facebook AI outside of their image recognition and behind-the-scenes operations, if the powerful algorithms they use are implemented within a Facebook smart speaker, the social network might end up surprising everyone.
The company still has to deal with privacy concerns. The social media platform hasn’t been the best at keeping their users data private. Yet, as with any other smart speaker, the choice would still be functionality over privacy.
“Facebook, Turn the Lights On!”
Last time Mark Zuckerberg spoke of his personal AI project, named Jarvis, everything he mentioned was nothing out of the ordinary. At the time when Zuckerberg was excited that Jarvis was able to turn on the lights for him, Philips Hue had already been on the market for more than a few years. Not to mention, home automation enthusiasts already had complete smart home setups. Innovative in his vision, Facebook’s CEO seems to have an idea about the future of tech. Nevertheless, he certainly doesn’t know what to do, to be a part of it. But what do you think? Will a Facebook Smart Speaker be the next best thing for home automation? Let us know in the comments below!