Facebook gets in on home assistant action with Alexa-powered Portal devices

10 October, 2018, 10:22 | Author: Camille Rivera
  • Facebook launches AI video-calling device'Portal

The Facebook Portal is an Alexa-powered smart display with a focus on video chat functions.

The cheaper Portal has a 10.1-inch 1280 x 800 display that's fixed in landscape mode, while the Portal+ has a 15.6-inch 1920 x 1080 screen that can pivot between portrait and landscape modes.

In the end, Facebook's specific privacy claims about Portal may not be enough to offset the general sense of distrust that the company has engendered over the years.

As Facebook points out on the official Portal website, "Alexa features and functionality may differ slightly on Portal and Amazon devices".

For now, the Portal and the Portal+ will be available only in the US.

You will need to connect Portal to a Messenger account in order to video chat with friends. The device, which will be available for pre-order in the United States, is created to allow users to make video calls at home without having to stand immediately in front of the screen or hold a phone at arm's length. People can delete their Portal voice history in their Facebook Activity Log at any time.




Portal and Portal+ also come with a camera cover, so users can block camera's lens at any time and still receive incoming calls and notifications, including using voice commands. To prevent unwanted visitors from using your Portal, you can set a passcode from four to 12 digits in length. That means Portal users can call other Portal users, as well as those with Facebook Messenger installed on their smartphones and tablets. Plus, the AI tech runs locally, it reports, and the camera doesn't use facial recognition or identify users. "We want to remove people from feeling that they are on a call - to the feeling of just being together", says Rafa Camargo, a Facebook vice president overseeing the product. Those Instagram and Snapchat face filters will also come to the big screen here via Facebook's Spark AR platform, so you can chat with people while sporting a cartoon face, if you prefer.

The display is available in two sizes; the standard Portal looks a lot like the Echo Show, whereas the Portal Plus is much larger. Portal itself will be fitted out to use augmented reality effects that have become popular on Facebook Messenger.

Portal only sends voice commands to Facebook servers after a user says: "Hey Portal", just like the Amazon Echo and Google Home. It's worth noting that you can't browse Facebook, the social network, on the Portal. 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. All video calls over Portals are encrypted.

Both Portals use AI technology to make video chatting better.

Earlier in the year, it was forced to admit that the personal data of tens of millions of users had been hijacked by Cambridge Analytica, a political firm working for Donald Trump in 2016.

"This is going to gain (Facebook) not only a place in the smart home, but also data they may not have been able to collect before or understand before", said ABI Research analyst Jonathan Collins. The Portal, which features a smaller 10-inch screen, costs $199 while the Portal+, which has a larger 15.6-inch screen, costs $349. Users can play music from Spotify, iHeartRadio, and Pandora and watch videos through Facebook Watch, Food Network, and Newsy.

Recommended:

  • Your Facebook account is NOT being cloned, it's all a hoax

    Your Facebook account is NOT being cloned, it's all a hoax

    No, your Facebook account is not being cloned, despite that viral message that keeps popping up in your inbox. If one of the messages is received, Kelso says users should simply ignore and delete the message.
    Interpol Demands China 'Clarification' On Missing Police Chief

    Interpol Demands China 'Clarification' On Missing Police Chief

    According to a report by the South China Morning Post newspaper, Meng was taken in for questioning by Chinese authorities. His duties in China would have put him in close proximity to former leaders, some who fell afoul of Xi's campaign.
    Tesla Directors Touted James Murdoch to Succeed Musk as Chairman

    Tesla Directors Touted James Murdoch to Succeed Musk as Chairman

    Business Insider got a copy of the settlement documents, which lay out the specific terms that Tesla and Musk agreed to. Musk is Tesla's largest shareholder, holding some 22% of the company's outstanding shares at the end of a year ago .
  • Tua Tagovailoa opened Alabama's game vs. Arkansas with a flawless  stat line

    Tua Tagovailoa opened Alabama's game vs. Arkansas with a flawless stat line

    Prior to taking over as a starter this season, Diggs was one of the primary returners in his first two seasons. Alabama came into Saturday having not been tested all season long and that trend continued against Arkansas.
    Canada concerned over reports Saudi journalist killed

    Canada concerned over reports Saudi journalist killed

    Chris Murphy, the Connecticut Democrat who sits on the Senate's Committee on Foreign Affairs, expressed shock over the news . Saudi dissident Jamal Khashoggi speaks at an event hosted by Middle East Monitor in London, Britain, September 29, 2018.
    Pakistan’s Opposition Leader Jailed For 10 Days Ahead Of By

    Pakistan’s Opposition Leader Jailed For 10 Days Ahead Of By

    Shahbaz, 67, is the younger brother of ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif, who is facing corruption charges in three cases. The PML-N party lost the election on July 25 to the rival Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf led by former cricket hero Imran Khan.
  • Melania Trump puts on happier face during Africa tour

    Melania Trump puts on happier face during Africa tour

    Photo credit: watoday.comMelania Trump receiving flowers from a flower girl on her arrival to the Cape Coast Fante, Ghana. Her focus on saving elephants seemed at odds with policies put forth by her husband, President Donald Trump .
    Las Vegas police say no arrests made after McGregor Khabib brawl

    Las Vegas police say no arrests made after McGregor Khabib brawl

    However, White said neither fighter was blameless, and described McGregor as a "superstar". "We'll see how things play out". Three men from the Russian fighter's team entered the octagon and attacked McGregor following the bout.
    EU's Juncker confident of Brexit accord, no-deal not an option

    EU's Juncker confident of Brexit accord, no-deal not an option

    Michel Barnier, the bloc's chief negotiator, mentioned the idea in an interview with the Guardian and other papers previous year . Both sides say the border must be kept open, but haven't agreed on how that can be accomplished.
  • Astronomers have found a second moon outside Solar system

    Astronomers have found a second moon outside Solar system

    Compelling evidence have been found on the existence of the moon , orbiting a gas-giant planet, 8,000 light-years away from Earth. The planet appeared to make its transit earlier than expected, suggesting that the gravity of something was tugging on it.
    Kavanaugh sworn into Supreme Court after divisive fight

    Kavanaugh sworn into Supreme Court after divisive fight

    Several hundred protesters, a lot of them women, barged through barricades to lay claim to the front steps of the US Capitol. Steve Daines of Montana, who supports Kavanaugh but was in Montana to walk his daughter down the aisle at her wedding.
    Pompeo to head to Pyongyang for weekend talks with North Korean leader

    Pompeo to head to Pyongyang for weekend talks with North Korean leader

    The DPRK on Saturday demanded the United States take steps to secure Pyongyang's trust before its denuclearization. Pompeo's visit comes ahead of a planned second summit between Kim and President Donald Trump .


Popular

Tanushree Dutta files police complaint against Nana Patekar, Ganesh Acharya
Patekar has denied the allegations and had sent Dutta a legal notice to withdraw the claims and issue an apology. Apart from Nana Patekar , she had named choreographer Ganesh Acharya in the police complaint.

Trump After Meeting with Rod Rosenstein: Democrats Colluded with Russian Federation
The criminal aliens to whom Trump referred include, as he said, "thousands of vicious gang members" and " MS 13 predators". Trump told reporters earlier on Monday that he has a "good relationship" with Rosenstein.

Limo that crashed in NY , killing 20, failed inspection
The massive vehicle, speeding downhill, approached the intersection of two highways that residents had long warned was risky . The National Transportation Safety Board is calling one of the deadliest transportation accidents since a 2009 plane crash.

Drew Brees Becomes All-Time Passing Leader on 62-Yard TD Pass
Former Saints receiver Devery Henderson, who caught the pass on which Brees broke Unitas' mark, attended Monday night's game. Highlights of the New Orleans Saints' clash with the Washington Redskins in week five of the NFL.

Embattled Ronaldo nominated for Ballon d’Or, but Modric now bookies’ favorite
The Ballon d'Or , a prestigious award that was first presented in 1956, is given to the best player of the year. Roberto Firmino from Brazil, Liverpool and Diego Godin from Uruguay, Atletico Madrid.

Northern Haiti rocked by 5.2 aftershock, hours after 5.9 magnitude quake
A boy that was injured by an aftershock receives treatment at the general hospital in Port-de-Paix, Haiti, Sunday, Oct. 7, 2018. He had said earlier he was headed to Port-de-Paix and another quake-hit city, Gros-Morne, about 50 kilometers to the southeast.

Twitter reacts as Arsenal demolish Fulham 5-1
It was a significant statement of intent from a team widely written off ahead of Emery's first season in charge. It was a scintillating second-half display but Emery said: 'I don't think it was the best.

Riyad Mahrez blazes over late penalty as Man City's Anfield hoodoo remains
Penalty aside, Virgil van Dijk was incredible and the rest of the defence is doing well as well. Up and down they are the best team in the world in these transitions.

Kevin De Bruyne could return for Manchester City vs Liverpool
He's got more confidence in his defence with Alisson, Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez, so knows when to push and when to protect. Guardiola said on Friday playmaker Kevin De Bruyne, out since August with a knee injury, would be assessed ahead of the game.

Samsung Electronics Q3 operating profit jumps 20.4 pct to hit record high
Nevertheless, analysts have sounded concern about the current lack of innovation in the smartphone industry. Samsung did not speak about its performance and will not disclose its earnings until late in October.