Facebook wants people to invite its cameras into their homes

Facebook wants to put a camera in your home

Here's our newest gadget! The Portal features a 10.1-inch display along with 10W speakers.

The company has also been heavily linked with making its own smart speaker to rival the likes of the Amazon Echo and Google Home, but no such device has yet appeared.

Both devices include 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.2, and are available for pre-order from Facebook's Portal website.

You will need to connect Portal to a Messenger account in order to video chat with friends.

The social media giant's new "video communication" devices are called the Portal and Portal+, and feature widescreen displays, hands-free voice control and AI-powered cameras and sound. The two devices are priced at $199 and $349 respectively and are available from Facebook, Amazon, and Best Buy. To prevent unwanted visitors from using your Portal, you can set a passcode from four to 12 digits in length. Its primary goal is to make video calls - the thing any smartphone, tablet, or computer can do - but Amazon Alexa is built-in so it can be your assistant, too.

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They said Portal is available at Amazon and Best Buy stores in addition to Facebook.com and starts shipping to US customers in early November. Well now we finally get to see them for ourselves, properly, because the company just announced tow Alexa-enabled smart displays: the Portal and Portal+.

The Portal also includes built-in apps from Facebook Watch, the Food Network, Spotify, Pandora, iHeart Radio and Newsy, to give users access to a range of entertainment offerings.

Just a few months after launching Snapchat competitor, Riff, a collaborative video creation app for both iOS and Android users in 2015, Facebook plugged the plug on it.However, the tech giant said that most of the features of the app had been integrated into the main Facebook app and Messenger. "If you buy the Portal, you have to really want to video chat with other people on Facebook, and do so from one room in your home, on something other than the phone or laptop or tablet that you likely already have".

And it also comes bundled with Amazon's voice interface "Alexa", enabling users to shop or control household appliances. What do you think about Facebook's first hardware products? Because the screen pivots, you can have chats in both landscape and portrait mode, unlike the vanilla Facebook Portal which is created to sit in landscape mode only.

Compared to Amazon Echo Show, the Portal devices seem pretty limited in nature with a strong emphasis being laid on video calling.

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Earlier this year, Facebook had to acknowledge that as many as 87 million people may have had their data accessed by Cambridge Analytica, a data mining firm that worked for the Trump campaign and aimed to use the data to influence elections.

Facebook says it won't store Portal video on its data centers. Users can say "Hey Portal" and note who they'd like to call, signalling Facebook may have aspirations for Portal to become a larger AI brand.

Both Portals use AI technology to make video chatting better.

Facebook says it doesn't listen to, view or keep contents of your Portal video calls, and the calls are encrypted - it's unclear if that's end-to-end encryption.

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