Facebook Portal to become Echo competitor

Alex Heath writing for Cheddar:

Facebook is about to jump into the consumer hardware business in a big way with a video chat device named “Portal,” which will put it in direct competition with Amazon’s hugely popular line of Echo voice-controlled devices, Cheddar has learned.

The device is designed to work in the home and represents Facebook’s first serious foray into selling consumer hardware, people familiar with the matter said. Rather than position the device as a smart assistant akin to Amazon’s Echo speakers, Facebook intends to pitch Portal as a way for families and friends to stay connected through video chatting and other social features.

I’m sure people, especially in Germany, will have some feelings about Facebook selling a device with a camera and phone for your home. Then again, people are for some reason buying Amazon’s Echo and Google’s Home. Despite being around one of the Echo devices and watching people interact with it on a daily basis, I still fail to see why I’d want one of these.

99% of the things they are used for can even be done with Siri on your wrist or phone. Free bonus: you won’t become the product in the process.