Facebook on Wednesday confirmed that it really is functioning on its personal voice assistant, carving out a space amongst competitors like Apple’s Siri and Amazon Alexa.

“We are functioning to create voice and AI assistant technologies that could perform across our family members of AR/VR items like Portal, Oculus and future items,” a spokesperson told Reuters. Voice commands can be particularly critical for AR and VR headsets, considering that they are commonly not utilized in mixture with a keyboard, mouse, or touchscreen.

Portal is essentially the company’s video get in touch with hardware. Adding a voice assistant would naturally turn it into a video-capable smartspeaker akin to the Google Property Hub or Amazon Echo Show.

The assistant was 1st exposed earlier nowadays by CNBC, which stated that it really is becoming crafted by a Redmond, Wash., group commonly assigned to extended-term projects. Improvement started in early 2018, and Facebook has allegedly been contacting vendors in the smartspeaker provide chain, probably pointing to a devoted item.

Any Facebook-branded smartspeaker would face an uphill battle. Amazon and Google are by far the dominant players in the market place — Apple’s HomePod, backed by billions of dollars, is estimated to have claimed just 1.six% of the market place in the December quarter. Facebook has also been wracked by scandals, which could only add to suspicions about the privacy of smartspeakers.