It has always being Facebook’s desire to have its own video device that will match its rivals in the market. Things did not quite got off to a great start as the company had to battle with its recent data breach that affected its reputation. As a matter of fact, Facebook’s reputation took a big hit and things are currently not the way the company would have wanted. Nonetheless, the company is pressing on with plans, and has announced two new devices—Portal and Portal+ video calling.
With the products, Facebook will seek to bring some entertainment to your living room—camera and microphone rolled into one. Portal is the smaller of the two versions; both are however, centered on video conferencing.
Portal is a hardware that can be used to call other Portal users or anyone on either Facebook or Facebook Messenger. It is also integrated with ability to play music through Pandora and Spotify, or stream video straight from Facebook Watch. If you have seen the Amazon Echo Show before, then you probably have an idea what the smaller Portal looks like.
The smaller 10-inch, 720p screen comes with two speakers, and goes on sale next month for $199.
The Portal+ on the other hand, is the bigger of the two devices, and is big enough to work perfectly in your living room. Whichever of the two devices you settle for, you will still be able to make video chatting with the availability of a wide-angle camera capable of capturing your body, and tracking every of your movement within the living room. Portal+ has a 15.6-inch, 1080p screen, two louder speakers, a subwoofer, making it better for playing music Portal+ video calling device—all for $349.
Unlike holding and chatting with a small device, the Portal makes video conferencing very easy and convenient for all. The idea, according to Facebook, is to create a sense of having this feeling that you are sharing one big room with the people you are chatting with. The larger one for me, is a major attraction considering the advantage of a rotating screen.
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.
“We made certain choices that even now our trial users are saying ‘I want it,” Rafa Camargo vice president of the Portal hardware team said per The Verge. “But we made a choice not to offer certain things just to make sure people understood the focus on privacy on the device.”
Camargo said many options on the device are basically opt-in. This basically means most of the features won’t work be default until you give a go-ahead.