Facebook launches Portal auto-zooming video chat screens

Facebook’s first hardware product combines Alexa with a countertop video chat screen that zooms to always keep you in frame. 

author_img HP Published :  10th October 2018 09:45 PM   |   Published :   |  10th October 2018 09:45 PM

One of the leading social media platforms, Facebook, has unveiled its Portal device, first hardware product.

Portal, and a larger 15-inch Portal+ model, have been launched by Facebook as a smart home device designed to let users make calls to friends and family. Users activate the device by using the word ‘Hey Portal’ to make calls. Similar to Amazon’s Echo Show, the tablet-like system allows users to make video calls over Facebook’s Messenger app. 

The upgraded version (Portal+) includes a feature that Facebook has dubbed smart camera, where the device can rotate to follow the person in front of the camera and keep them in view. This version also has a slightly larger display (15 inches compared to Portal’s 10).

Beyond chat, Facebook has built third-party experiences into Portal. One can use any Alexa to have songs play simultaneously on yours and someone else’s Portal for a decentralised dance party. It also acts as a Bluetooth speaker, and Spotify Connect lets it power multi-room audio. 

Portal and Portal+ are currently available for pre-order for $199 and $349 respectively, with shipping scheduled for November.