Facebook announces Portal, an Amazon Echo Show rival for video calling

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New Delhi | Updated: Oct 08, 2018 10:00 PM

This is the first time ever that Facebook has decided to announce a hardware product under its brand.

portal, portal news, video calling device, latest news, facebook, portal, portal device, amazon echo show, amazon news, facebook news, tech news, Cambridge Analytica, facebook news todayFacebook has given the option to completely turn off the device once people are done using it. The company will also provide a camera cover which will also make sure that the camera is completely off. (Reuters)

This is the first time ever that Facebook has decided to announce a hardware product under its brand. If you are familiar with the Echo Show from Amazon, you will be able to guess what kind of a product Facebook’s new Portal is. Facebook Portal is essentially a device combining a camera and microphones, which is solely going to focus on video chat as one Portal user will be able to call another Portal user and anybody who has a Facebook account or uses the Messenger app.

Portal and Echo have a lot of similarities but one thing that is different is the fact that Portal will allow users to call from anywhere in the room as the wide-angle camera will find you on its own so that the person you are talking to gets a clear view of you. This video calling feature is unique as you will not have to worry about the camera angles and you won’t even have to hold it, as per the demo video company has released.

Portal has two models – the first one is the 10-inch model, which will have 2 speakers and a resolution of 720p whereas the other model, known as the Portal Plus, has a 15.6-inch display with 1080p resolution, along with a sub-woofer and two speakers, which will give users a better experience while listening to music from platforms like Spotify and Pandora. One of the limitations of the device is that you cannot browse Facebook on Portal, which limits its utility to video calls, listening to music among others. The Facebook Portal comes integrated with Amazon Alexa so that you can give voice commands.

The launch of the new device comes in the backdrop of Cambridge Analytica controversy and the very recent privacy breach, and may have a bearing on its sale.

Facebook has given the option to completely turn off the device once people are done using it. The company will also provide a camera cover which will also make sure that the camera is completely off.

Facebook Portal will go on sale in November and will cost $199 whereas the larger model, Portal Plus will be available for $349 in the US.

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