Jul 25, 2017

Facebook may start selling smart speakers

Noah Berger / AP

Facebook is developing a smart speaker with 15-inch touch panel, Digitimes reports. Sources said the screen is Facebook's primary focus. The device will be manufactured by Pegatron Technology for release in the first quarter of 2018, with small-volume production already underway in China. LG Display will supply the touch panel.

Why it matters: Smart speaker devices are ripe for tech companies that have the data and scale to filter massive amounts of search queries.

Facebook joins a competitive smart speaker market: Per Axios' Kim Hart, the use of voice-activated digital assistant devices will spike nearly 130% this year, with Amazon's Echo in the lead with 70.6% of the market, according to eMarketer. Google Home trails behind with 23.8% of users, while others (Lenovo, LG, Harmon Karon and Mattel) share the remaining 5.6% of users. Apple is set to bring its HomePad to the market this year.

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A closer look at how colleges can reopen

The campus of Brown University. Photo: Lane Turner/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Masks in class, sports on hold, dorm life without roommates and summer 2021 classes for some: Brown University President Christina Paxson tells "Axios on HBO" it's all in play as colleges consider whether and how to safely reopen campuses in the fall.

Why it matters: An extended shutdown of U.S. colleges and universities would leave nearly 20 million students and 3 million employees with an uncertain future, but premature reopenings without proper coronavirus safeguards could jeopardize lives and force more closings.

How Disney World could host the NBA

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

After weeks of speculation, the NBA announced Saturday that it is in early discussions to resume its season in late July at Disney's ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando.

What they're saying: The NBA's most well-sourced reporter, Adrian Wojnarowski, says "everything is pointing toward" this happening, and that teams could start recalling players as soon as next week for a two-week quarantine period and formal training camp before heading to Florida.

U.S.-China trade tensions are escalating again

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

As the coronavirus pandemic appears to be subsiding in China, it's becoming clear that its targets for the phase one trade deal with the U.S. are unrealistic and there is so far no sign of a plan for renegotiation.

What's happening: White House National Economic Council director Larry Kudlow said Thursday the trade deal was "intact, and China has every intent of implementing it."