Saturday, 20 October, 2018

Google Home Hub vs. Amazon vs. Facebook

Facebook Introduces AR Enhanced Video Calling Devices Facebook launches Portal and Portal+ video call devices
Emmett Howard | 11 October, 2018, 23:31

Nick Fell, marketing director for the Portal team, said, "We set out to try and make video calling so good that it feels like you're sharing the same physical space as someone else." .

The company, which saw its trust ranking collapse in the 2018 FutureBrand Index, was at pains to explain the security features in its announcement for the device which is yet to have an Australian release date. The camera on the device also comes with a lens cover so that users can block the video capability but still receive incoming calls and notifications while using other voice command functions. It has a 7-inch display, and is priced at only 699 yuan (US$102), and let users made video calls and access Baidu's video platform iQiyi.

"It's been a big shift for the company", Facebook's vice president of consumer hardware Andrew Bosworth told AFP before the launch of "Portal".

Users can completely disable the camera and microphone with a single tap.

The two Portal devices' cameras use artificial intelligence software to follow the user as they move around.

To start a call, all one has to do is say: "Hey Portal".

Voice assistants Portal - the first gadgets to be released under the brand Facebook.

Since Amazon Echo's release almost four years ago, both Google and Apple have followed Amazon in releasing smart speakers designed for use with their other digital services - some of them, at least.

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Just like smart speakers, Portal is Alexa powered and the cue word to communicate will be "Hey Portal".

The Portal boasts a 10-inch 1280 x 800 display.

The Facebook Portal, shipping in November, is now available for preorders through the device's official website, with the Portal going for $199 and the Portal+ selling at $349.

Portal can also play music through Spotify and Pandora, play Facebook Watch videos, and cycle through photos in selected albums. The product, dubbed as Portal, can be used to call other Portal users as well as anyone who is connected via Facebook or Facebook Messenger.

While Facebook Portal might seem like the best smart speaker available on the market, no one can blame people for not wanting it in their homes. For the Portal is basically a device that comes with its own web cam as well as the display to make video calls.

Facebook has revealed two new video communication devices which it claims simplifies video calling. The company has been working on video conference hardware for some time but made a decision to put the project on hold earlier this year because of public outrage about Facebook's data-privacy practices.

Geoffrey Fowler, a reporter from Washington Post, wrote that "the Portal is a sleek new video camera and screen that makes chats with family and friends look great".

Reports indicate that it is unlikely that Portal becomes the next Alexa; however, if the device is widely successful like Amazon's, the company might be able to take the breath of fresh air it's been craving.

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