Facebook Goes Into Hardware
Facebook is launching its first video-calling hardware devices, Portal and Portal +, that will help to connect with your family and friends, giving you the feeling to be in the same room even when you are miles away. Their Smart Camera is set to follow the movements and keep everyone in the frame: as more people enter into the room, the SC will automatically widen to keep everyone in view, but giving you the option to focus in one person (Spotlight mode).
Another innovative feature that comes with the devices, is that they are designed to be used either from a short or long distance, making the video calls via smartphone (where the background is always blurry and pixelated) a thing from the past. As far as the sound quality, the devices are also able to identify background noises to reduce them and enhance the voice of the person who is talking wherever they move in the room. In addition to one-on-one calls, up to seven Portals can take part in group chats. However, it will not be possible to record.
Portal is voice control enabled, but it only sends voice commands to the Facebook servers after you say “Hey Portal”. Feature Amazon’s Alexa, so you can ask questions; lastly, it can be easily integrated with different apps such as online music platforms (Spotify) or Facebook’s video show service Watch. With Portal an Portal +, you can check your favorite recipes from the Food Network, add effects to your videos (Facebook’s Spark Augmented Reality), and when video calling is not active, it can be used like a smart box where you can display photos and videos.
After the major data privacy scandal, Facebook wants to make sure that the user feels save with their product, keeping this points in mind, you can disable the camera and microphone with a single tap, you can block the lens with the camera cover, the calls are encrypted, there is no facial recognition, its possible to lock the device with a password; Facebook doesn’t listen to, view or keep the contents of your Portal video calls; artificial intelligence functions are run locally on devices, not on Facebook’s servers; voice commands are sent to the cloud, but the user can view their order history and delete it at any time;
When you turn on Home and Away, Portal will use your mobile phone and Portal’s location to know when you’re home and available to call. You’ll still get calls on Messenger when you’re away.
Portal and Portal + are available for pre-order in the US at $ 199 and $ 349, For more information visit: Portal Facebook