Facebook to Sell Portal Video Devices

Facebook Introduces AR Enhanced Video Calling Devices

Both devices have a pretty clean design - with one seeming like a sleeker-looking Amazon's Echo Show, and the Portal+ looks like a tablet with a 15.6-inch display.

Smart screens also feature augmented reality.

Facebook has launched a couple of new smart devices which enable AI-powered video calling in your home.

Facebook is the newest contender in the smart home speaker segment with the launch of the new Portal home and Portal+.

The Portal boasts a 10-inch 1280 x 800 display.

They said Portal is available at Amazon and Best Buy stores in addition to Facebook.com and starts shipping to USA customers in early November.

"We set out to try and make video calling so good that it feels like you're sharing the same physical space as someone else", he said.

On Tuesday Google also unveiled a smart device called Home Hub, which features an app that functions like a universal remote, connecting all devices to the cloud. It's been beaten into that game by Amazon, Google, Apple, Samsung and a handful of others.

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Facebook has recently been working with a fragile reputation and a shrinking user base among young people. Despite the recently reported data breach that may have compromised the data of 50 million users, Facebook chose to launch the device to be able to participate in the upcoming holiday shopping season.

"It would be better if this had end-to-end encryption, and you have to wonder why it doesn't when you recognise that WhatsApp - another part of the Facebook empire - uses it", said Wired's Mr White. Facebook Live, the company's tool for broadcasting videos live, is not even an option on the Portal.

Facebook's Portal shares some of the traits of smart speakers like "Google Home" and Amazon's "Echo" with its voice activated assistant, "Alexa". You can get $100 off any two devices.

This is Facebook's first dip in the hardware arena but, on paper, it seems to have more misses than hits. "And, when played, music will be magically synced across your Portal devices".

The camera can be blocked by a cover and the device has a button for disabling both the lens and the microphone.

Facebook representatives prefer to talk about their "mission" rather than business models and profits, but wireless speakers and video calls are a growing market. Rival smart speakers with screens lack a video-chatting app that is as popular.

Given this long shadow that Cambridge Analytica or #deletefacebook continues to cast, the idea of putting Facebook-connected eyes and ears in one's home will surely raise some eyebrows!

And if there is aa breach of trust with the Portal devices, will that not only negatively impact Facebook, but could it also drag Alexa and Amazon (and voice-first in general) down with it? Additionally, the company promised not to "listen to, view, or keep the contents of your Portal video calls" and for added security the device does not utilize facial recognition.

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