Trust-challenged Facebook stresses privacy in launch of Portal video communication device
Bloomberg News reported that the microphone and camera can be turned off, and some of the computing functions are done on the devices themselves rather than by firing digital information back-and-forth to Facebook’s computer systems. However, the main goal of Portal – video calling in Facebook Messenger.
With the launch of portal comes the Facebook’s first hardware product. Shipping starts from 12 November.
The Portal is primarily a device for making video calls on Facebook and Messenger.it also uses AI to power the device’s Smart Camera and Smart Sound abilities.
The device now offered in two sizes 10 Inches and 15.6 Inches Screen and can connect with Facebook Messenger enabling users on messengers on messengers as well. However, you still be able to receive calls as well use voice commands. Portal also enables shared activities like listening to music together or watching some of your favourite shows. Facebook isn’t pre-loading its social networking app or image-messaging app Instagram on Portal, emphasizing the device’s role in more active communications instead of passive browsing. From there, you can contact anybody who has Facebook’s Messenger app – so pretty much everyone.
Another innovative feature that comes with the devices, is that they are created 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.
Nice tag lines aside, the camera has some smarts in it that allow it to follow your movement and keep everyone in view.
According to Facebook, this makes the video chat more of a natural process without the usual worry of keeping certain angles.
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. To improve the user’s experience, the social media giant Facebook announced it’s first ever tech gadget, and it is a bit creepy as you’ll expect. Bosworth said, “Frankly if we don’t build the hardware, I do have concerns”.
Security is a sensitive issue for Facebook, which had 50 million of its user accounts breached by hackers last month. Portal closely resembles Amazon’s Echo Show.
“All the processing required is done locally on the device”, Bosworth said. “We have worked hard to ensure the AI is on the device and we think this is a breakthrough for the industry”. There were almost 1 billion video calls made on Messenger in 2017, and it was double the number than the calls made in 2016. You have to sacrifice one of your arms.
In my eyes, video conferencing on these services offers an opportunity to connect.
Portal and Portal+ are available now for pre-order in the US from Facebook, Amazon and Best Buy. The larger Portal+ is available at a price of $349 and has a 15-inch rotating screen on a bulky mount with a camera on top.