Facebook has unveiled its first line of smart speakers, the Portal and Portal+
Facebook has unveiled its first line of smart speakers, the Portal and Portal+. Alike to Amazon’s Echo Show device, the Portal and Portal+ feature built-in screens. While utilising Amazon Alexa for the voice-control feature, Spotify, Pandora and iHeartRadio are the music streaming launch partners.
The core video call capabilities run via Facebook Messenger and boast an auto pan and zoom feature, depending on who is in shot.
“Thanks to AI technology, Portal makes video calling easier and more like hanging out, while a widescreen display lets you enjoy every moment together,” the launch blog stated.
After a year of controversy at Facebook, it is no surprise that the device has a number of important privacy features. The Portal camera and microphone are disableable with ‘a single tap’ and a camera cover is also present.
“Facebook doesn’t listen to, view, or keep the contents of your Portal video calls. Your Portal conversations stay between you and the people you’re calling. In addition, video calls on Portal are encrypted, so your calls are always secure,” states the launch announcement.
Whilst Facebook has music-licensing deals, they only cover user-generated content. Therefore, music listening on the Portal is powered by Spotify, Pandora and iHeartRadio integrations, with more expected in the future.