Facebook has joined the consumer hardware market with the release of the Facebook Portal and the Facebook Portal+ - Two smart displays that use Amazon's Alexa as their virtual assistant.
Facebook points out however that “Alexa features and functionality may differ slightly on Portal and Amazon devices.” So for example users will be using the “Hey Portal” phrase to initiate Facebook Messenger video calls. Since it works across platforms, you can even talk to your friends who use Messenger on their phones.
The smaller of the two devices features a 10.1 inch display. You get voice-enhancing 4-mic arrays with 360-degree pickup ensuring your Portal always hears you and Facebook's 'Smart Camera' technology that lets the camera follow your movements around your room. The regular Portal is priced at $199.
The larger Portal+ features a 15.6 inch display and an impressive audio setup made up of a pair of tweeters, single 4-inch bass, and 20w audio output. You get the same voice-enhancing 4-mic arrays with 360-degree pickup and 'Smart Camera' technology which allows you to move around the room as you speak and have the camera follow your movements. The larger Portal+ is priced at $350.
Both the Portal and Portal+ are "private by design" according to Facebook, who vows never to listen, view or store the contents of your video calls, keeping them secure at al times with strong encryption. The Smart Camera uses localized AI functionality for its facial recognition, so none of that data is saved by Facebook either. physical camera cover provided with each Portal and Portal+ unit, as well as a button allowing you to completely disable the camera and microphone.
Both Portal units will feature services from Spotify, Pandora, and iHeartRadio enriching your smart display experience. Facebook has an ongoing deal for anyone purchasing two regular Facebook Portals, offering the duo for $298.
source - Facebook