February 19, 2019

Facebook introduced its own gadget for a smart home

13 October 2018, 01:46 | Cameron Gross

Facebook launches Portal and Portal+ video call devices

Facebook Introduces AR Enhanced Video Calling Devices

Social media giant Facebook has announced two new AI-powered devices - Portal and Portal+ - that let users do voice or video calls to other Facebook and Messenger users.

Much of the coverage around the launch of Facebook's Portal devices likens them to the smart speakers that other companies have launched.

But Chinese companies have been building smart displays for a while, with Baidu and leading the way - despite the fact that Chinese consumers have shown little appetite for smart speakers yet, according to the China Internet Report 2018.

The Portal devices mark Facebook's entry into the home devices market, which is growing crowded with voice-enabled smart displays, such as Amazon's Echo Look and numerous devices that run on Google Assistant.

Facebook Portal features a 10-inch touch-sensitive display at a 1280 x 800 resolution, while the Portal+ has a larger high-definition 15-inch screen with a 1920 x 1080 resolution.

Both devices are available for pre-order in the United States at $US199 for the Portal and $US349 for the Portal+ with U.S. shipping to begin in November.

Facebook on Monday launched a range of AI-powered video-calling devices, a strategic revolution for the social network giant in its bid for a slice of a market now dominated by Amazon and Google.

Augmented reality was not ignored in the Facebook Portal making. Group calls are also available up to six people. Finally, you can set a four to 12-digit code to lock Portal until you want to use it again.

Facebook is marketing the device, called Portal, as a way for its more than 2 billion users to chat with one another without having to fuss with positioning and other controls.

Facebook has introduced a new video calling devices, called Portal and Portal+. More recently, Facebook revealed that hackers managed to pierce its security to break into 50 million accounts.

The company worked with a U.S. film director in order to make the camera movements feel natural, said Nick Fell, marketing director for the Portal team. You can also receive $100 Dollars off any two devices - this means a bundle of two Portal devices will be priced at $298 USD, so you can share the experience right out of the box. Users can start a video call simply by saying "Hey Portal" and noting who they'd like to call.

"Smart Camera stays with the action and automatically pans and zooms to keep everyone in view". Meanwhile, both the Portal version will have the same 12MP camera though the Portal will come with a 10 w speaker while the same on the Portal+ will be of 20 w.

Bosworth however noted that they do not intend to stop with Portal, promising to "invest very heavily, not just hardware through Oculus but also through Facebook", Bosworth said.

And it also comes bundled with Amazon's voice interface "Alexa", enabling users to shop or control household appliances.

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