A new era starts for Facebook with the launch of the first hardware device: Facebook Portal, that competes with Alexa, Google Home and Homepod from Apple.
With the help of Portal, you can be closer to the ones you love, even if you are miles apart. The camera will follow your actions in a room and adjust to your movements and the sound as well.
You don’t have to worry about privacy because you can switch off the camera and microphone in one tap, once the conversation is over. And switch it back when you want to start a new conversation.
Facebook says that they don’t listen or store your conversations, which means they are encrypted, just like the Whatsapp ones are. The camera doesn’t use facial recognition and all the AI technology run local, not on the Facebook servers. As for conversations, Portal sends voice commands on Facebook servers and you may delete all the voice history in your Facebook activity log. The conversations start by saying “Hey Portal”.
An interesting fact is that Portal uses Alexa built-in, so this is a new partnership on the market. You can set alarms, ask the weather or the news or even control your smart home.
You can also connect with your friends and family that don’t have a Portal at home through Messenger, whether they use it on a computer or on a phone. If you have a group chat, you can add up to six people to the conversation.
If you are away from your children, through Portal you can read their favorite bedtime stories and become the character they love. You can also listen to music together with your beloved one just as you were in the same room.
Some Facebook partners for Portal are Spotify, Pandora, Food Network, iHeart Radio, Facebook Watch – of course.
Another use of Facebook Portal is as a frame for the pictures you love. If you are not on a call with your beloved ones, you can see pictures of them displayed on the screen. You will also get notifications if someone is available for chat or birthday reminders.
Of course, Portal also has the role of a speaker and you can listen to music with a hi-fi sound.
Portal is available for pre-sale now and the price starts from 199$ the cheapest, to 349$ the high end.
What do you think about the newest Facebook device? Will it be successful? Will it dethrone the other hardware products that do almost the same?