Linhof | Facebook Ventures Into the Set Top Box Market
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Facebook Ventures Into the Set Top Box Market

Facebook Ventures Into the Set Top Box Market

It appears that Facebook is moving forward with its entry into the set top box market.

The social media giant is creating a product that is code named Ripley. And it is said to be a camera-equipped set top box that can be connected to a television. The purpose of the device would be to record footage, video chat and watch media.

Portal Smart Displays

The company already sells devices called Portal, which are similar to the smart displays that customers can get from Amazon and Google. These smart displays are roughly $200 and $350 each, depending on the screen size.

But the Ripley project means that Facebook would be able to deliver a similar type of experience without the screen – and at a much cheaper price. It is possible that Ripley will launch in Spring 2019.

Privacy Concerns

While the idea of being able to video chat from your television is exciting, many users would be concerned about privacy. Facebook does not have the best track record when it comes to respecting the boundaries and data privacy of its users.

There is a real concern that Facebook would be using any Ripley-type device to gather more information about people, through the media they consume and their activity at home.

Ripley will work with the same operating system that is on the Portal devices, which is an open-source version of Android. And it means the camera features that exist on the Portals, such as auto zooming and video chatting in Messenger, would be available on the Ripley.