Hang out with long-distance friends, family with Facebook Portal

Facebook Introduces AR Enhanced Video Calling Devices

Facebook launches Portal and Portal+ video call devices

"Smart Camera stays with the action and automatically pans and zooms to keep everyone in view".

On Tuesday, Google introduced Google Home Hub, an update to its popular Google Home speaker, a new device with a video screen that's all about Google. However, it will not be possible to record.

Video calls: To other users of the Echo Show and, coming later this year, members of the Skype network. With Portal an Portal +, you can check your favorite recipes from the Food Network, add effects to your videos (Facebook's Spark Augmented Reality), and when video calling is not active, it can be used like a smart box where you can display photos and videos. And Facebook? If you married those concerns together, you'd get Portal.

The Portals are "powered by AI", according to Facebook and come equipped with a smart camera that follows you around the room, as well as smart sound technology to minimize background noise.

Portal and Portal+ are available now for pre-order in the USA - from Facebook at portal.facebook.com, as well as Amazon and Best Buy - and will begin shipping in November.

Facebook notes that it "doesn't listen to, view, or keep the contents of your Portal video calls". However, buyers can get two Portal devices as a bundle for Dollars 298, which is USD 100 off. The Portal device is being retailed for US$199, and the Portal+ for US$349.

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In order to eliminate concerns, the tech giant said that it put privacy and security in mind while designing the new devices, through an option that lets the user completely disable the camera and microphone with a single tap. As well as facilitating immersive chats with Facebook friends and family in groups of up to seven, the device offers voice control plus Alexa, various apps, and the promise of privacy and security.

The device is known by the name of "Portal" and Facebook is trying to advertising it as a way for its more than 2 billion users to chat without having to worry about positioning and controlling the device during video calls.

Facebook expects to stand apart on the market because of Portal's touchscreen and the 400 million people who call through its Messenger service each month worldwide.

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. If you have seen the Amazon Echo Show before, then you probably have an idea what the smaller Portal looks like. Portal's launch comes just a couple of weeks after a second security incident at the company, this time involving the theft of access tokens.

Privacy as usual, is always the biggest issue when it comes to Facebook and its services/products, but the company says certain things were taking into considering while building Portal.

The device will only be available initially in the United States, but users can connect to anyone with a Messenger account anywhere in the world.

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