Facebook is currently developing a voice assistant that could function similar to Amazon Alexa, Siri, or Google Assistant. Notably, it’s intended to support Oculus headsets in addition to Portal, and “future products.”
Citing several sources familiar with the matter, a CNBC report broke the news yesterday that Facebook is looking to compete with the big platform holders with its own voice assistant.
A Facebook spokesperson later confirmed so much in a Reuters report, saying:
“We are working to develop voice and AI assistant technologies that may work across our family of AR/VR products including Portal, Oculus and future products.”
With little else to go on, it’s still unclear how Facebook intends to implement the AI assistant, and what tasks it will handle in respect to VR users. However if it’s slated to be a multi-product implementation, it could mean wide-reaching abilities similar to what the top voice assistants can achieve today.
Facebook’s upcoming assistant won’t be a first on Oculus devices when it finally arrives though. In March 2017, Oculus released its ‘Oculus Voice’ service, a basic voice input system which includes the ability to perform voice searches from Oculus Home to navigate games, apps, and experiences. It’s still a far cry from saying “Hey Oculus, remind me in 45 minutes to start dinner,” something an integrated voice assistant service might address.