Facebook unveils smart video chat speakers for home

Facebook unveils smart video chat speakers for home

Facebook unveils smart video chat speakers for home

During calls, it can also play music on Spotify or videos from Facebook Watch, as well as tell children stories via augmented effects app Story Time. But there are questions surrounding one's privacy using the portal device.

Smart Camera and Smart Sound use AI (artificial intelligence) technology for added security and runs locally on Portal, not on Facebook servers.

This AI-controlled device simplifies video-chats with an exemplary wide-angle camera which can identify the user, pans the body and can then keep tracking you wherever you move around. It is wide enough to capture the whole living room, but with the help of Smart camera software Portal recognises a human in the frame and crops the image and zoom in, it does so smoothly, as a skilled cameraman does. It's like having your own cinematographer and sound crew direct your personal video calls.

Unlike holding and chatting with a small device, the Portal makes video conferencing very easy and convenient for all.

To manage Portal access within your home, you can set a four- to 12-digit passcode to keep the screen locked.

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The new Pixel phones are also expected to follow the trend of expanding the phone screen almost to the edges of the device. Processing the call details on-device means these experiences are fast, private to you, and use up less battery.

"We don't listen to, view, or keep the contents of your calls in any way", Zuckerberg said. The Portal conversations stay between you and the people you're calling.

Another innovative feature that comes with the devices, is that they are created to be used either from a short or long distance, making the video calls via smartphone (where the background is always blurry and pixelated) a thing from the past. But the company also says the camera and microphone can be "completely" disabled with a single tap. Facebook Live, the company's tool for broadcasting videos live, is not even an option on the Portal. Portal has Amazon Alexa built in for plenty of extra functionality like asking for sports scores, about the weather forecast, controlling smart home devices, ordering gifts and groceries, and more. But it also uses Alexa as the voice assistant for the devices. While voice-enabled smart displays like the Portal are in a budding product category, ownership of smart speakers like the Amazon Echo or Google Home will rise to 48% of USA consumers after this holiday season from 32% in August, Adobe Analytics forecast. Unlike a regular phone or video call, there's no ringing, and you never have to "answer" the call - they just appear instantly. Also, calls can be made from and to Messenger-enabled smartphones and tablets.

You can carry Portal with you to places so that there is this way to remotely accompany people you love to spend your time with!

"Both models are created 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", Facebook said in a blog post.

Another cool feature is Story Time, which has five interactive storybooks you can read.

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