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Watch out Amazon, it looks like Facebook is about to muscle in on smart home territory.

The social networking giant is poised to launch a device for chatting via video, according to a report, similar to Amazon's Echo Show which is a smart speaker with a screen powered by the Alexa voice assistant.

Read more: It's official: Apple unveils HomePod, a smart home speaker

The device will be called Portal and be priced at $499, online news network Cheddar reports, and is set to make its debut at Facebook's big developer conference scheduled for May.

Suggestions about Facebook's work on such a device first surfaced last year, and the mooted launch of the product – its first self-built hardware – would come at a time when the battle for people's time and attention at home beyond the smartphone is heating up.

Google has a major presence at this week's Consumer Electronics Show where it is seeking to take on the dominance of Amazon which claimed its stake early on in the space with several Echo models and now leads the way.

But the move also comes at a crucial time when questions are being raised about Facebook's influence and a broader turning of the tide against the pervasiveness of technology.

Read more: Amazon's latest echo device is a crazy Clueless-style digital wardrobe

Facebook has already made a move into producing original video content, with Facebook Watch unveiled in August 2017.

Apple is also set to launch its own smart home speaker. The device was first announced last summer but its launch has been delayed, meaning Apple missed out on the crucial Christmas shopping season in which Amazon said it sold "tens of millions of Alexa-enabled devices" worldwide.

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