Facebook Portal: Video Calling Devices to Connect With Friends and Family

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Facebook Portal: Video Calling Devices to Connect With Friends and Family

Facebook just announced two video communication devices for the home that can change the way people keep in touch. The devices are called Portal and Portal +. With the help of AI technology, Portal makes video calling easier and more like hanging out. A widescreen display can display a live image of the Person you are communicating with.
With a 10-inch 1280 x 800 display, Portal allows hands free video calling. Portal+ has a 15-inch 1920 x 1080 pivoting display.
Portal and Portal+ are immediately available for pre-order in the US – from the Facebook Portal Page Homepage, as well as from Amazon and Best Buy. First products are will be shipped in November. Portal costs 199 USD and Portal+ 349 USD. People who decide to buy two devices in one order will get a 100 $ discount.
A Smart Camera stays with the action and automatically pans and zooms to keep everyone in view during calls. Smart Sound minimizes background noise and enhances the voice of whoever is talking, no matter where they move. Facebook says that it is like having your own cinematographer and sound crew direct personal video calls.
Facebook connections can be made through Messenger to people who don’t have Portal –calls can be made to and from Messenger-enabled smartphones and tablets. Portal supports group calls of up to seven people at the same time.
Video calls can be started by saying “Hey Portal” and noting who you’d like to call. Amazon Alexa is built in, so you have access to a voice experience to ask for sports scores, check the weather, control smart home devices, order groceries, and more.
After some security issues, Facebook promises that users can keep the device under control: Camera and microphone may be completely disabled with a single tap.Both devices also come with a camera cover, so you can easily block your camera’s lens at any time and still receive incoming calls and notifications, plus use voice commands.
Facebook also says that they don’t listen to, view, or keep the contents of Portal video calls. Portal conversations stay between you and the people you’re calling. In addition, video calls on Portal are encrypted, so your calls are always secure.
For added security, Smart Camera and Smart Sound use AI technology that runs locally on Portal, not on Facebook servers. Portal’s camera doesn’t use facial recognition and doesn’t identify who you are. All information on the devices security features can be found product page for Facebook Portal. In addition to video-calls, Facebook Portal ‘s frame can display photos, videos and notifications like birthday reminders.

Author: Tim Cole
Image Credit: COMP

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