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Ozlo Might Help Power Facebook’s Smart Wireless Speaker

Facebook might finally have what it lacked - a true smart virtual assistant.

Ozlo Might Help Power Facebook’s Smart Wireless Speaker August 1, 2017Leave a comment

Shubham's day job revolves around crunching numbers for a big-data analytics company. When he gets bored of complicated calculations, he comes home and writes about technology. Contact: [email protected]

Facebook is working on a wireless smart speaker, much like Amazon’s Echo, and there are concerns whether it will do well. The central ingredient to any popular smart speaker today is the artificial intelligence based virtual assistant.

It seems like Facebook is all set to cross that hurdle now. The world’s largest social networking company has acquired Ozlo, an AI based startup, to help build a powerful virtual assistant. Ozlo is based in Palo Alto and currently employs around 30 people.

Facebook’s virtual assistant is likely to first launch on its Messenger platform. That means it’ll be exposed to a lot of conversations that will make it smarter and more efficient to handle voice based queries in the near future. Everything is now pointing towards an interesting-looking smart wireless speaker from Facebook.

Ozlo’s technology can help smart assistants decipher natural language from users, and process more than a simple yes or no query. The company calls these ‘probabilistic assertions of truth’. A majority of Ozlo’s employees will be joining the Messenger team. Messenger already has a virtual assistant called M.

Facebook is rumored to be working on a smart wireless speaker likely to be launched early next year. That gives the company enough time to refine its virtual assistant software. Meanwhile, Amazon continues to be the market leader in the smart WiFi speaker market alongside Google Home. Apple is set to join the party by the end of this year with its HomePod speaker, even though it is focussing the product entirely as a great speaker. is rumored to be working on a smart wireless speaker likely to be launched early next year. That gives the company enough time to refine its virtual assistant software. Meanwhile, Amazon continues to be the market leader in the smart WiFi speaker market alongside Google Home. Apple is set to join the party by the end of this year with its HomePod speaker, even though it is focussing the product entirely as a great speaker.

If it’s true, Facebook’s smart speaker is more likely to be a simple extension of the social networking platform to a whole new device. As of now, Facebook’s users are spread across desktop and mobile devices with the latter taking up a larger chunk of usage.

Facebook’s speaker could be a completely groundbreaking device or it could be a dud. Considering Amazon’s push to launch Echo in more markets other than US, almost everyone is likely to have at least one Echo device by early next year. We can’t figure out why and how Facebook thinks customers will still pick up one of their wireless speakers, even if it comes with all the bells and the whistles.

Shubham's day job revolves around crunching numbers for a big-data analytics company. When he gets bored of complicated calculations, he comes home and writes about technology. Contact: [email protected]

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