I'm not saying we should all be paranoid about our data but it's a good idea to think about who we are handing it over to, and Facebook has ran out of strikes on this one. After that privacy nightmare, rumors claimed that Facebook would be pushing back plans to launch the Portal ecosystem to later this year. They also have Spotify and Pandora integration. The device only sends voice commands to Facebook's servers after the words "Hey, Portal" are said, according to Camargo. When you're not using the 10-inch touch screen for calls, it displays images from Facebook, such as a shared album you choose. It has a 12-megapixel front-facing camera with 140-degree field of view.
The Portal is primarily a device for making video calls with your friends on Facebook and Messenger.
Both Portals come with dual-band Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.2 connectivity.
The devices are now available for pre-order only in the USA, and will ship in November. Both come in white or black.
The Portal uses an array of four far-field microphones that records your conversations picks up your voice commands and a 12MP wide-angle camera that watches you sleep lets you make video calls.
The device includes what Facebook calls Smart Camera and Smart Sound technology, which uses artificial intelligence to automatically pan and zoom the camera to keep everyone speaking in view, while Smart Sound minimises background noise and enhances the voice of whoever is speaking to improve call quality.
The Portal has a 10-inch 1280 x 800 pixel display and looks quite similar to the Amazon Echo Show in form factor, while its bigger sibling has a 15-inch 1920 x 1080 pixel display that can pivot on its base.
Facebook is a software company famous for pushing out products quickly and adjusting later depending on the level of uproar.
Compared to Amazon Echo Show, the Portal devices seem pretty limited in nature with a strong emphasis being laid on video calling. More recently, Facebook revealed that hackers managed to pierce its security to break into 50 million accounts.
It only takes a single tap to disable both the microphone and camera.
It got delayed after Facebook found itself in the privacy scandal earlier this year, but finally Facebook's smart video calling device is here. Nevertheless, smart displays that have a primary focus of chatting with Facebook Messenger will be a hard sell for many. But, perhaps still adhering to the "Move fast and break things" mantra it's famous for, the social media giant has done just that and launched the Portal ($199) and Portal+ ($349) today.
The speaker will go on sale in the U.S. in November. On top of that, a screen passcode lets you prevent unauthorized use. In Facebook's favour, beyond the price difference, is the fact that the company can hook Portal's videoconferencing features into Facebook and Messenger, two services that cover a substantial chunk of the human race between them.