Facebook has introduced their first hardware product and it’s a set of smart displays with an emphasis on video chat.
The Portal has a 10-inch display with a 1280 x 800 resolution while the Portal+ comes with a 15-inch 1920 x 1080 resolution.
The devices come with something called a Smart Camera that will automatically keep you in frame and pans and zooms and Smart Sound which minimizes background noises.
Smart Camera and Smart Sound use AI technology that runs locally on the device.
The Portal lets you call your Facebook friends on Messenger either Portal to Portal or to smartphones & tablets with the Messenger app.
It also comes with voice control using Amazon Alexa and you can say just “Hey Portal” to initiate a call. Facebook has said they’re open to having multiple assistants on Portal, such as Cortana and Google Assitant but they have nothing to announce at the moment.
Facebook says they built the Portal with privacy and security in mind. The devices come with a button to completely disable the camera and microphones with the press of a button plus a camera cover.
The Facebook Portal and Portal+ are available for pre-order in the US. The Portal costs $199 USD and the Portal+ costs $349 USD. If you pre-order two, you’ll get $100 USD off and ships in November.