Facebook has announced the launch of three new Portal range of home video-calling devices. The new lineup includes the Portal, Portal Mini and Portal TV and will be available for $129 (approx. Rs 9,200), $179 (approx. Rs 12,800) and $149 (approx. Rs 10,650) respectively.
The Portal Mini has an 8-inch HD display while the Portal has larger 10-inch HD display for video calls. The devices feature a slim picture frame design and come with an adaptive display that adjusts brightness and colour to user’s surroundings. They have a built-in speaker for calls as well as music.
Portal TV offers smart video-calling to the TV screen and can be placed on top or below the TV, allowing users to move around during calls.
The new Portal devices come with an AI-powered Smart Camera that intelligently pans and zooms into the user(s) while they move freely. There’s a Smart Sound feature that enhances the voice of whoever is speaking while minimising unwanted background noise.
The company has confirmed that the Smart Camera and Smart Sound use AI technology that runs locally on Portal and not on Facebook servers. For added privacy, the new devices will come with the ability to disable the camera and microphone with a single tap or a sliding switch. There’s a red light next to the camera module that indicates that the camera and the microphone are off.
Facebook has also confirmed that along with Facebook Messenger, Portal device will now also support video calls on WhatsApp. Other news features include Story Time for kids, Facebook Watch content support and photo frame mode. Portal devices also come with Amazon Prime Video preinstalled and users can also download apps like Spotify, Pandora, SHOWTIME, CBS All Access, Starz, Pluto TV, Redbull TV and Neverthink.
Portal has also added a “Hey Portal” trigger to its devices. This means every time a user says “Hey Portal”, they’ll have access to Alexa skills to listen to music, check the news, get local search results, control smart home products and view the results on the screen.
The Portal, Portal Mini and Portal TV and will be available for $129 (approx. Rs 9,200), $179 (approx. Rs 12,800) and $149 (approx. Rs 10,650) respectively. The Portal and Portal Mini are already available for pre-order and will begin to ship from October 15. The Portal TV begins shipping November 5. The new Portal devices can be purchased in the US, the UK, Canada, France, Italy, Spain, Australia and New Zealand.