Without a doubt, voice command assistants have increasingly become popular over the years. Now, Facebook is rumored to join the bandwagon with Aloha.
Aloha is set to become the biggest competitor of Google Home and Amazon Echo. Facebook is reported to be working on the voice assistant, which is equipped to pair with a video chat service. App investigator and mobile researcher Jane Manchun Wong spotted the voice feature as part of the company's future voice interaction undertakings.
Facebook Messenger Voice Assistant UI pic.twitter.com/DOMe4Nsg7v — Jane Manchun Wong (@wongmjane) August 21, 2018
Wong found the dictation feature buried deep in the Facebook Messenger and Android Facebook apps. The app investigator added that the grueling work took her all night to pull off. Currently, all Aloha can do is transcribe text in a user interface.
This feature seems to be patterned with how smart assistants work considering that it lies on the dictation foundation before progressing to more complex features.
By making voice functionality, the company could provide its users with more ways to use the social media platform more effectively in their homes.
Although a simple transcription feature is a far cry from a full-blown voice assistant such as Alexa, things are still looking up for the company. The script-to-text feature could be combined with M, a virtual assistant by Facebook in 2015, and the rumored smart speaker it is working on.
Reports indicate that Facebook's Portal smart speaker is equipped to let its users video chat with their loved ones who are having troubles with operating smartphones. The release of the gadget has been reportedly delayed because of the Cambridge Analytica Scandal.
According to Wong, Aloha's full features could be available to people who can log in with a Facebook employee account. Although she did not discover anything that hints its hardware release, what she uncovered can still be considered as enough evidence for the Aloha project.
Furthermore, Facebook could turn Aloha into a multi-platform assistant, which functions in both smart speakers and smartphones such as Google Assistant and Siri.
Success Of Virtual Assistants
Remarkably, all major mobile companies and operating system manufacturers now have their own brand of visual assistant. In the second quarter of this year, Canalys, a technology market analyst firm, estimated that Google sold 5.4 million Homes, followed by Amazon Echo with 4.1 million devices.
Additionally, Strategy Analytics, a strategy consulting firm, reported that HomePod by Apple got only less than 6 percent on the market, behind Alibaba's smart speaker.