How many of you saw this coming? Social Networking giant currently facing the ire of regulators over data privacy concerns is now making a bold move into the hardware space. Facebook seems to be testing the waters around a sinking Titanic and wants to see if new opportunity areas can be discovered for the company.
In a recent development, Facebook has announced the release of a pair of AI-powered smart video calling devices. Facebook’s Portal and Portal + are designed to help people do video calling with ease.
Facebook’s AI-powered smart speakers are designed to make the video calling a smooth experience. This new gadget by Facebook is its attempt to compete with Amazon and Google in the rapidly growing market of smart speakers. These AI-powered tablet-size speakers can completely transform the way people keep in touch and communicate with each other.
Facebook’s Portal is the company’s first push in the gadgets space. Facebook-owned company, Oculus sells VR headsets but, the Portal will be first device designed and manufactured by Facebook. The two devices by Facebook promises to make homes smarter and better to communicate and interact with family members.
The Portal comes with a 10-inch 1280×800 display, which lets users video chat with their family and friends over Facebook messenger. The Portal+ features a 15-inch 1920×1080 display. The microphone on the device is integrated with Amazon’s voice assistant Alexa. Amazon already has a similar device called Amazon Echo Show, which supports video calling.
Facebook’s Portal can be seamlessly integrated with the user’s Facebook account, allowing them to video call friends via Facebook Messenger. The smart AI-powered camera adjusts itself to follow the action in the room. Let’s say you are moving in the room, the camera will automatically adjust to your movements while broadcasting video calls. It also has the ability to widen its focus as more people enter the room.
The standard Portal device costs $199, it looks more like a table with a large built-in speaker. While the Portal+ is priced at $349. The speakers are currently being sold in the US via Facebook’s site. They will soon be available in other countries.