Facebook launches Portal and Portal

Doris Richards
October 11, 2018

It is wide enough to capture the whole living room, but with the help of Smart camera software Portal recognises a human in the frame and crops the image and zoom in, it does so smoothly, as a skilled cameraman does.

On Tuesday, Google introduced Google Home Hub, an update to its popular Google Home speaker, a new device with a video screen that's all about Google. Smart Sound minimizes background noise and enhances the voice of whoever is talking, no matter where they move.

Portal and Portal+ also come with a camera cover, so users can block camera's lens at any time and still receive incoming calls and notifications, including using voice commands. However, it will not be possible to record.

"Like other voice-enabled devices, Portal only sends voice commands to Facebook servers after you say, 'Hey Portal.' You can delete your Portal's voice history in your Facebook Activity Log at any time".

The Portal devices include security functions that allow the user to disable the camera and microphone features with a single tap, and to set a private passcode to keep the screen locked. For secure video calling, the calls on Portal are encrypted to keep your video calls between you and the person you are calling.

The privacy questions regarding the Facebook calling device are further fueled by the social media's fresh fallout with users following a data breach scandal involving millions of users and the Portal's recording abilities. Portal plays your favorite music, and powerful speakers will fill your room with rich, hi-fi sound 2 Full-Range Drivers 10w Rich Sound.

Voice Control + Alexa: Portal offers hands-free voice control.

The Facebook Portal, shipping in November, is now available for preorders through the device's official website, with the Portal going for $199 and the Portal+ selling at $349.

The devices incorporate a simple voice control system for calls, enabling users to start a video call by saying "Hey Portal, call Randy".

You can also buy your Portal device via Amazon or Best Buy.

Unsurprisingly Facebook installs a version of Messenger on the Portal devices and you can converse freely with other Messenger users whatever platform they might be on.

Privacy as usual, is always the biggest issue when it comes to Facebook and its services/products, but the company says certain things were taking into considering while building Portal. It also allows you quickly make calls with folks you're connected with on Facebook Messenger. While voice-enabled smart displays like the Portal are in a budding product category, ownership of smart speakers like the Amazon Echo or Google Home will rise to 48% of USA consumers after this holiday season from 32% in August, Adobe Analytics forecast.

The devices will go on sale in the USA in November.

Reports indicate that it is unlikely that Portal becomes the next Alexa; however, if the device is widely successful like Amazon's, the company might be able to take the breath of fresh air it's been craving.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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