Facebook Debuts Video Conferencing Device 'Portal' Starting at $200

by

Facebook today announced "Portal," a new communications device for the home aimed at connecting friends and family members through video chat.

There are two models of Portal: the 10-inch base model and a 15-inch "Portal+" model with a display that pivots between portrait and landscape modes. Each device includes AI technology, a Smart Camera, and Smart Sound. The Smart Camera follows where you move around a room and automatically pans and zooms to keep everyone in view, while Smart Sound minimizes background noise and enhances the voice of who is talking.

facebook portal 2
Portal connects to your friends list on Facebook Messenger, and you can call them even if they don't have a Portal. Calls made via Portal will also be sent to Messenger apps on iOS and Android smartphones, and Portal supports group calls of up to seven people at the same time.

The video calling device supports hands-free voice control, so you can start a video call by saying "Hey Portal" and following up with who you want to call. Alexa is built into the device, so you can also ask about the weather, news, traffic, control smart home products, and more on Portal.

With Portal, you can listen to music together with a friend or even watch a television show with another Portal user, through connected partnerships with Spotify Premium, Pandora, iHeartRadio, Facebook Watch, Food Network, and Newsy. Portal video calls also support AR effects, filters, and stickers.

In terms of audio, Facebook says Portal has two full-range drivers, while Portal+ has two tweeters with high-range frequency and a single 4" bass speaker.

facebook portal
Facebook is launching Portal in the middle of a turbulent year, following months of news coverage over its ties to data mining firm Cambridge Analytica. A Facebook-branded smart speaker with video capabilities was previously rumored, and then delayed following the scandal.

For the new device, Facebook says Portal is designed with privacy and security in mind:

- You can completely disable the camera and microphone with a single tap.
- Portal and Portal+ also come with a camera cover, so you can easily block your camera’s lens at any time and still receive incoming calls and notifications, plus use voice commands.
- To manage Portal access within your home, you can set a four- to 12-digit passcode to keep the screen locked. Changing the passcode requires your Facebook password.
- 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.
- For added security, Smart Camera and Smart Sound use AI technology that runs locally on Portal, not on Facebook servers. Portal’s camera doesn’t use facial recognition and doesn’t identify who you are.
- Like other voice-enabled devices, Portal only sends voice commands to Facebook servers after you say, “Hey Portal.” You can delete your Portal’s voice history in your Facebook Activity Log at any time.

Portal and Portal+ are available to pre-order in the United States on Facebook.com, Amazon, and Best Buy. Portal is $199 and Portal+ is $349, while a bundle of two regular Portal devices is $298.

Top Rated Comments

matthew12 Avatar
30 months ago
This is never entering my home. I don't trust Facebook.
Score: 32 Votes (Like | Disagree)
btbeme Avatar
30 months ago
The words “privacy,” “security,” and “Facebook” rarely collide in the same sentence. When they do, it is usually in a federal subpoena or a lawsuit.
Score: 29 Votes (Like | Disagree)
moabal Avatar
30 months ago
Just get an iPad. This makes no sense.
Score: 27 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TheCoolGuy Avatar
30 months ago
We need to tape that creepy camera like this. .

Attachment Image
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Mansu944 Avatar
30 months ago
I would want to buy this because.....?
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Scottsoapbox Avatar
30 months ago
"The Smart Camera follows where you move around a room and automatically pans and zooms to keep everyone in view"

Not creepy at all. o_O
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

lg wing

LG Considering Exit From Smartphone Business, Halts LCD Production for iPhone

Wednesday January 20, 2021 5:38 am PST by
LG is considering exiting the smartphone business entirely amid declining shipments and accrued losses of $4.5 billion over the past five years (via The Korea Herald). LG CEO Kwon Bong-Seok cautioned staff earlier today that the company is re-evaluating its presence in the smartphone industry: Since the competition in the global market for mobile devices is getting fiercer, it is about...
google maps detailed street level e1611052089473

Google Maps Gains Enhanced Street-Level Detail in Four Major Cities

Tuesday January 19, 2021 2:34 am PST by
Google Maps has quietly been updated to include significantly more detailed street-level information in a handful of key cities around the world. Upon zooming in, Google's maps for Central London, Tokyo, San Francisco, and New York now benefit from shapes and widths that match the scale of roads more accurately. Meanwhile, enhanced graphical representations of sidewalks, crosswalks,...
2019 mac pro side and front

Tim Cook Gifted Donald Trump 'First' 2019 Mac Pro

Wednesday January 20, 2021 5:45 pm PST by
Apple CEO Tim Cook gifted former United States President Donald Trump with the first 2019 Mac Pro that came off of the assembly line in Austin, Texas, according to a financial disclosure report that was released today (via The Verge). "Mac Pro Computer, the first created at the Flex Factory in Austin, Texas," reads the entry, which values the machine at $5,999, the base price for a Mac Pro....
airpods max sim ejector

AirPods Max Headband Removable With Just a SIM Ejector Tool, Hinting at Interchangeable Headbands

Tuesday January 19, 2021 8:25 am PST by
It is possible to remove the headband of AirPods Max with just a standard SIM card ejector tool, hinting at the possibility of interchanging headbands to achieve a different colorway. Image via Prelook In December, MacRumors revealed the large variety of AirPods Max ear cushion color combinations when it became clear that they were magnetically attatched and available for sale separately....
iphone 5s black slate

Images of Unreleased iPhone 5s in Black and Slate Shared Online

Sunday January 17, 2021 9:47 am PST by
Twitter user @DongleBookPro has today shared images of a prototype iPhone 5s in an unreleased Black and Slate color. The iPhone 5s was launched in September 2013. The device featured Touch ID, a 64-bit processor, and a True Tone LED flash for the first time. Other new features included a five-element lens with an f/2.2 aperture, a 15 percent larger camera sensor, Burst Mode, and Slo-Mo...
iphone 12 vs iphone 12 mini

Apple Shifting Some Production From iPhone 12 mini to iPhone 12 Pro to Meet Demand

Wednesday January 20, 2021 8:12 am PST by
Apple has reportedly cut production of the iPhone 12 mini by two million units to create more manufacturing capacity for the iPhone 12 Pro, according to a new Morgan Stanley investment note seen by PED30. Apple is believed to have made the switch for the first quarter of 2021 in an effort to combat continuing lead times for the more popular iPhone 12 Pro. iPhone 12 Pro lead times remain ...
Apple VR Feature

Bloomberg: Apple's First AR/VR Headset 'Pricey, Niche Precursor' to More Ambitious AR Glasses and Could Launch Next Year

Thursday January 21, 2021 3:27 am PST by
Apple's first virtual reality headset will be a "pricey, niche precursor" to a more ambitious augmented reality product, according to a new report from Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. As a mostly virtual reality device, it will display an all-encompassing 3-D digital environment for gaming, watching video and communicating. AR functionality, the ability to overlay images and information over a view...
shot on iphone 12 apple

Apple Highlights Photos Shot by iPhone 12 Users: Portraits, Cityscapes, and More

Tuesday January 19, 2021 6:05 am PST by
Apple today shared a gallery of photos shot by customers using the iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro, and iPhone 12 Pro Max, with scenes including cityscapes, landscapes, portraits of people, and more at day and night. Shot on iPhone 12 Pro Max by "NKCHU" in China (top) and shot on iPhone 12 Pro Max by Rohit Vohra in India (bottom) iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 12 models have a dual camera ...
Apple and Hyundai feature

Apple Car Production Again Linked to Kia Motor's US Plant in Georgia

Tuesday January 19, 2021 4:19 am PST by
Hyundai intends to transition the company's Apple Car involvement to its Kia brand as part of an internal arrangement that could see production move to the U.S., according to a new report today. On Sunday, Korea IT News reported that Apple and Hyundai are seeking a partnership agreement for the upcoming Apple Car by March, and that the electric vehicles could be made at a Georgia factory...
iPhone 13 Notch Feature

iPhone 13 Rumored to Feature Smaller Notch, Pro Model Cameras to Use Larger Image Sensor

Thursday January 21, 2021 1:38 am PST by
Apple's iPhone 13 series will feature a redesigned Face ID system that will allow for a smaller notch at the top of the screen, according to a new report today. The rumor comes via hit-and-miss Taiwanese industry publication DigiTimes, whose supply chain sources also claim that the ultra wide-angle lens in Apple's next-generation iPhones is due for an upgrade. The next-generation iPhones'...