Facebook introduces Portal and Portal plus, new video calling devices

Portal allows you to call Facebook friends and connections on Messenger even if they don’t have Portal

Portal Facebook

Facebook announced Portal and Portal+, two new Artificial Intelligence (AI) powered video communication devices for the home that dramatically change the way you can keep in touch.

With a wide screen display of 10-inch 1280 x 800, Portal from Facebook improves video calling and lets you enjoy quality time with family and friends — hands and distraction free. You can also opt for a 15-inch 1920 x 1080 pivoting display with Portal+. Both models are designed to help you feel closer to the important people in your life and make video chats feel less like a call, and more like you’re actually in the same room.

Portal and Portal+ are available for pre-order in the US – from Facebook at portal.facebook.com, as well as Amazon and Best Buy – and will begin shipping in November. Portal home comes for $199 and Portal+ will cost $349.

Powered by AI, Portal’s Smart Camera and Smart Sound technology take all of the guesswork out of video calling, letting you enjoy a more convenient, hands-free experience. Whether you’re cooking in the kitchen or chasing the kids around the living room, Smart Camera stays with the action and automatically pans and zooms to keep everyone in view. Smart Sound minimises background noise and enhances the voice of whoever is talking, no matter where they move. It’s like having your own cinematographer and sound crew direct your personal video calls.

Connect with Facebook and Messenger Friends

You can call Facebook friends and connections on Messenger even if they don’t have Portal. Calls can be made to and from Messenger-enabled smartphones and tablets. Portal supports group calls of up to seven people at the same time.

Voice Control + Alexa

Portal offers hands-free voice control. You can start a video call simply by saying “Hey Portal” and noting who you’d like to call. Portal also has Amazon Alexa built in, so you have access to a robust voice experience to ask for sports scores, check the weather, control smart home devices, order groceries, and more.

Built with Privacy + Security in Mind

Privacy and security are important when you bring new technology into your home. Portal has been designed with tools that give you control, such as -

  • You can completely disable the camera and microphone with a single tap.
  • Portal and Portal+ also come with a camera cover, so you can easily block your camera’s lens at any time and still receive incoming calls and notifications, plus use voice commands.
  • To manage Portal access within your home, you can set a four- to 12-digit passcode to keep the screen locked. Changing the passcode requires your Facebook password.
  • Portal is up front about what information it collects; it helps people understand how Facebook will use that information, and explain steps taken to keep it private and secure
  • Facebook doesn’t listen to, view, or keep the contents of your Portal video calls. Your Portal conversations stay between you and the people you’re calling. In addition, video calls on Portal are encrypted, so your calls are always secure.
  • For added security, Smart Camera and Smart Sound use AI technology that runs locally on Portal, not on Facebook servers. Portal’s camera doesn’t use facial recognition and doesn’t identify who you are.
  • Like other voice-enabled devices, Portal only sends voice commands to Facebook servers after you say, “Hey Portal.” You can delete your Portal’s voice history in your Facebook Activity Log at any time.

Immersive Experiences

Portal also enables shared activities like listening to music together or watching some of your favourite shows. It has partnered with Spotify Premium, Pandora, and iHeartRadio, as well as Facebook Watch, Food Network and Newsy — and are slated to add more soon.

They will also incorporate augmented reality (AR) effects — powered by our Spark AR platform — to make calls even more fun and interactive. Story Time brings stories to life with custom sound effects and visuals. Smart Camera helps you read a fun story via a simple teleprompter, perfectly framed, while your loved ones on the other side watch as your face and voice transform into the story’s characters.

And when you’re not on a call, Portal’s Superframe can display your favorite photos and videos and important notifications like birthday reminders, etc.

Visit portal.facebook.com for more information

 

 

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