Keeping in touch with friends across the world can be extremely difficult. Users of the previous model of Facebook’s Portal benefitted from its home video-calling capabilities, but now Facebook has released three new models with a whole new way of connecting with loved ones.
Portal and Portal Mini
The new designs for the Portal (10-inch) and the Portal Mini (8-inch) are picture-frame-like so as to seamlessly blend into your homely environment. Both can be used either in portrait or landscape mode. Whether you’re making calls or displaying your photo album. Both models adapt their brightness and colour according to the surroundings, and has a powerful built-in speaker for off-call music listening.
Portal TV brings a new video-calling experience to your household, allowing calls to be made on even larger screens. The design is sleek and discreet, even complementary to your setup.
The Power of Smart-Calling
During your calls, feel free to move around and about without worrying about going out of frame or focus. The AI-powered smart camera pans and zooms to stay with you. It also focuses specifically on the speaker’s voice all while minimising background noise.
Both the camera and microphone on the portal models can be switched off, to which a red light will appear. When both functions are on, the microphone uniquely listens for the key phrase “Hey Portal”.
Additionally, the Smart Camera and Smart Sound use AI technology that runs locally on Portal, and not Facebook servers.
Your “Hey Portal” interactions are saved by default in order to improve the quality and accuracy of the AI function for everyone. You can listen to these audio logs in your Facebook Activity Log, but if you’d rather they not be recorder at all, you can disable voice storage in the settings anytime you like.
Visit https://portal.facebook.com/privacy/ for more details.
This brand new feature will not only allow users to make calls using messenger, but now also WhatsApp. All calls are end-to-end encrypted meaning that only you and the person you’re calling can hear what you’re saying.
Story Time, AR and Watch Together Co-Watching
Through the use of animation, music and AR, stories can be brought to life. New children’s book series: Llama Llama, Pete the Cat and Otto are available to watch, and are perfect for the kids.
Shows can also be watched with other people who aren’t physically with you. So you have no excuse for having watched the next episode without me. Seriously…not cool.
Superframe Photos and Videos
When you’re not on-call, Portal serves as a beautifully designed frame for your pictures and videos, and can even remind you of upcoming birthdays so you feel that bit closer to your family and loved ones.
Amazon Prime and More
Portal has been equipped with the Amazon Prime app, meaning that you millions of TV shows and movies at your disposal. You can download other apps like Spotify to listen to your own playlists, with plenty more apps soon to be released.
“Hey Portal” Voice Control and Amazon Alexa
Portal now has Alexa built into its system, allowing users to ask for music, check the weather or latest news, and obviously, ask to make calls. It’s the new way to control your smart home.
Pricing and Availability
Portal is now available to pre-order in the US, Canada and Europe from portal.facebook.com and select retail locations. Portal and Portal Mini begin shipping October 15 and Portal TV begins shipping November 5. Portal Mini is AUD $199, Portal is AUD $279 and Portal TV is AUD $229. Bundle any two Portal devices for AUD $70 off in Australia.