Published: Sat, October 13, 2018
Hi-Tech | By Kristin Zimmerman

Facebook Launches Video Calling Portals

Facebook Launches Video Calling Portals

Facebook is ramping up privacy standards, especially with regard to developer relationships, after revelations earlier this year that Cambridge Analytica, a political consulting firm, obtained information on as many as 85 million Facebook users' without their permission, through the maker of a personality app.

Portal can also play music through Spotify and Pandora, play Facebook Watch videos, and cycle through photos in selected albums. It has the same camera and microphone arrangement as the smaller Portal but better sound with two tweeters and one woofer arrangement totaling 20W.

Facebook announced it is launching a new electronic device, titled Portal, which is meant to optimize video calls for users. But Mr. Bosworth assured users that Portal is fully encrypted and won't allow even Facebook to "listen, record or stall" any of its content.

To address the security question, obviously Facebook are conscious of the sensitivity around secure communications, Anyone with a connected device, has considered the potential security implication of the communication not being private and are happy continue to use the service. Each Portal device has a plastic cover that can slide over the camera. Prior to its launch, Amazon has introduced a similar product called Echo Show, whose latest version features premium sound quality and outstanding screen performance.

The smaller Portal is an Amazon Echo Show style device, with a giant display size of 10.1-inch and resolution of 1280×800 pixels and 10W dual speakers. The AI tech used for the Smart Camera and Smart Sound runs locally from the Portal device and not on Facebook servers. "This is a calculated move, however one that Facebook will likely succeed at regardless of the outcome of their security and privacy initiatives".

However, Facebook is aware of this long-drawn perception and has been clear at addressing these concerns beforehand. He said: "Privacy is built deeply into Portal".

Likewise, few additional, immersive features have been added up to make the video chat more effective in augmented space. It could signal that Facebook may feel it is too far behind the leaders to try rolling its own assistant out - at least for the time being.

Unfortunately, such data breaches have reduced the people's trust in the social network over the past few months. The smart camera included in the device has a 140-degree field of view and can recognise people in the frame, cropping the image automatically.

Against this backdrop, it would be interesting to see whether Portal could make a dent in the market. While voice-enabled smart displays like the Portal are in a budding product category, ownership of smart speakers like the Amazon Echo or Google Home will rise to 48% of US consumers after this holiday season from 32% in August, Adobe Analytics forecast. This device with 10 inch screen for $230.

According to Google, Home Hub aims is to create "a more helpful, thoughtful home". Like other voice-enabled devices, Portal only sends voice commands to Facebook servers after you say, "Hey Portal".

With video-calling growing exponentially more popular, the Portal device may prove to be a stronger seller than predicted, but it is hard to think of a more unsuitable time for such a product to launch from the company.

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