Facebook Inc (FB.O) on Monday released a smart speaker created to ease video calls, but the company's history of privacy mishaps and the device's price and limited functionality could slow it from taking on market leaders Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O) and Alphabet Inc's (GOOGL.O) Google. The company reportedly chose to postpone after the Cambridge Analytica scandal came to light.
Portal, however, is cheaper, costing only US$199 each, while the new Echo Show, which has a 10.1-inch screen and a speaker at the bottom of the device, costs US$229.
Taking on Amazon and Google in the smart home space, Facebook has unveiled a pair of Artificial Intelligence (AI)-powered smart video chat devices, Portal and Portal +, which are created to connect people and feel like being in the same room.
Novelties from Facebook is available for pre-order in the United States, deliveries should begin in November.
Social media giant Facebook has unveiled a pair of artificial intelligence-powered smart video chat devices, Portal and Portal +, which are created to connect people and feel like being in the same room. The Smart Camera and Smart Sound will use AI technology that runs locally on Portal, not on Facebook servers. So, it can connect calls to people who are not using "Portal".
With video chat at the core of the product, Facebook isn't pushing Portal's music and entertainment capabilities quite as much as the makers of rival devices - especially Apple - though that doesn't mean streaming music isn't being integrated.
The device, known as Portal, comes with a couple of unique features.
Portal will give users multiple ways to lock and turn off the various aspects of the device.
Delete the Portal's voice history in your Facebook Activity Log whenever you want.
Privacy as usual, is always the biggest issue when it comes to Facebook and its services/products, but the company says certain things were taking into considering while building Portal.
Facebookdebuted two video-chat devices, per an announcement. As more people enter a room, Smart Camera automatically widens to keep everyone in the frame.
"Facebook doesn't listen to, view, or keep the contents of your Portal video calls", says the social network.
Voice Control + Alexa:Portal offers hands-free voice control. The Story Time function lets users bring stories to life by using custom sound effects and visuals, while Smart Camera can be used to read a story using teleprompter, as the reader's face and voice change into various characters.
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