Facebook’s next crack at hardware could be a video chat device

Though Facebook's focus is, for the most part, firmly on the software side of things, the social network may extend its reach to a new piece of hardware meant to bring people closer together.

Facebook is reportedly working on a laptop-sized touchscreen device capable of connecting individuals in a room over video chat, sources familiar with the matter tell Bloomberg.

Said to already be in the testing phase, Facebook's supposed contraption utilizes a large screen and a smart camera to make distanced users feel like they're in the same room together.

Making more than just the Oculus Rift

Facebook is also reportedly considering using Android for its video chat device, alongside with its own artificial intelligence system to help identify and zoom in on relevant objects mid-chat like faces, pictures or text.

This isn't Facebook's only dip into new physical products, as sources also told Bloomberg that the Big Blue F is looking into making its own smart speaker à la Amazon Echo and Google Home, and has even brought in ex-Apple employees to add their expertise to the project.

Of course, nothing has been confirmed by Mark Zuckerberg & Co., (Facebook offered no comment when contacted by TechRadar) but it's possible we may learn more about Facebook's hardware plans when its next F8 developer conference kicks off early next year.

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