Company Facebook introduced the first gadget

Company Facebook introduced the first gadget

Company Facebook introduced the first gadget

However, these hands-free devices - which represent the tech giant's first branded, consumer-facing hardware products - are really more about video chat.

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.

Portal also supports music and video services, such as Facebook Watch, Food Network, Spotify, Pandora, iHeart Radio, Newsy and more are said to be on the way. For secure video calling, the calls on Portal are encrypted to keep your video calls between you and the person you are calling.

On the security side Facebook stated that it does not listen to, view or use any personal data from Portal. Also, Facebook allows users to disable cameras and the microphones in Portal and Portal+ with a single tap. Buy two Portals and get $100 off. In addition to one-on-one calls, up to seven Portals can take part in group chats.

The Facebook Portal uses an AI-powered camera to pan, zoom, and reframe the picture.

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When you turn on Home and Away, Portal will use your mobile phone and Portal's location to know when you're home and available to call. Portal also has Amazon Alexa built in, so users have access to a robust voice experience to ask for sports scores, check the weather, control smart home devices, order groceries, and more.

This week will see three new ones in the US: Facebook just unveiled the Portal, Amazon opened pre-orders for the second generation Echo Show, and Google is (at this writing) hours away from unveiling the Google Home Hub. Thanks to an Alexa integration, the Portal devices can also do any of the other things that competing smart speakers can do, such as control smart home devices.

Portal+, the larger version, has a 15.6-inch 1920 x 1080 rotating display and additional bells and whistles include 20-watt speakers along with a 12 MP camera.

Portal and Portal+ are available now for pre-order in the U.S. and will begin shipping in November.

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. Users activate the device by using the word "Hey Portal" to make calls.

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The company also added that Portal and Portal+ comes with a camera cover so users can easily block the camera's lens at any time and still receive incoming calls and notifications. Just yesterday, Amazon released a revamped Echo Show with features nearly identical to Portal's.

Facebook representatives prefer to talk about their "mission" rather than business models and profits, but wireless speakers and video calls are a growing market.

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".

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