(Pocket-lint) - According to a recent report, Facebook is said to be working on its very own smart voice assistant designed to compete with the likes of Amazon's Alexa, Siri and Google Assistant.
As per CNBC's sources, the assistant is being developed by the same division that works on longer term projects, which includes the likes of the Oculus products.
Exactly how this assistant is going to be used is yet to be revealed. The most obvious implementation is installing it into the Portal video focussed smart speaker/display. It could even, potentially, be used in Oculus headsets.
Of course, the company could just use its massive wealth to build its own dedicated smart speakers, similar to the Echo or Google Home devices. In fact, the report claims it has already been in touch with several vendors.
With any new smart assistant related product, there will always be a healthy degree of scepticism. Especially for a company like Facebook, which is regularly in the news with some quite worrying examples of showing a disregard for customer privacy.
Even anecdotally, there's a public perception that the company already knows far too much about individual users.
One would suspect that - presuming the service is free - Facebook would use the data gleaned from assistant requests to better target ads to users. The same way it uses your online behaviour to do so on the primary app and site.
As of right now, this assistant is still under development, and it's yet to be seen if it ever makes it onto a physical product.