Facebook is by far the most used social media app for the past few years and is well-known globally. Now, they’re joining the hardware industry, introducing Portal and Portal+.
The Portal and Portal+ are video calling devices that comes in either a 10-inch 1280 x 800 display or a 15-inch 1920 x 1080 display. The Portal devices comes with AI technology whereby their Smart Camera has 140 degree view with 12MP front camera. The devices recognise humans and follow their movements, ensuring that they are always in sight, zooming in and out depending on the number of people. There is also a Spotlight mode made for those who want the focus to be on a single person instead of including everyone in the room. The devices also use a feature called Smart Sound which minimises background noise and enhances the voice of the speaker even if they’re moving around.
Users can connect to anyone who uses the Messenger app, even if they do not have the Portal devices. Portal’s voice assistant is none other than Amazon’s Alexa, though Facebook has its own assistant to handle calls. Alexa can be used to control smart home devices and users can stream music with Spotify, Pandora and iHeartRadio.
For those who have privacy and security concerns, Facebook stated that the contents of Portal video calls will not be used and are encrypted. The AI technology on Portal devices does not run on Facebook servers and users can delete their call history in their devices. Besides that, the microphone and camera can be easily disabled with a tap and a camera cover is provided to block the lens. In addition, users can set passcodes to lock their screens.
The Portal will cost you USD 149 whereas the Portal+ will cost you USD 349, and they are available for pre-order from Facebook, Amazon or Best Buy in US. We might have to wait some time before they are available elsewhere, though with the recent security breach, many might not be as confident in Facebook anymore.
Would you buy the Portal devices by Facebook? Do let us know in the comments section.