Facebook's creepy new speakers are freaking people out

Facebook's Portal

Facebook has revealed its new Portal and Portal+ smart speakers, with Alexa built-in. The first is simply called Portal and features a 10-inch display with a resolution of 1280 x 800. Facebook promises that Portal "follows the action" and "keeps everyone in frame" but - seemingly acknowledging that people won't trust its claim that the devices are "private by design" and that the mic and camera can be disabled with a single tap - a physical camera cover is included. Facebook is going up against some stiff competition with its first hardware devices, with Amazon and Google already dominating the United States market for smart speakers and displays.

The Portal is available for pre-order in the United States now. If you splash out on two Portals, you can save $100, with a pair costing just $298. And how many people are going to make jokes about Facebook opening a portal to... somewhere? On top of that, a screen passcode lets you prevent unauthorized use. Facebook says that even the Facebook Messenger users who don't have Portal will be able to connect with Portal users by utilising cameras built in a laptop, smartphone or tablet.

Both models also include an internet-connected speaker that includes Amazon's voice-activated digital assistant, Alexa.

Just a few months after launching Snapchat competitor, Riff, a collaborative video creation app for both iOS and Android users in 2015, Facebook plugged the plug on it.However, the tech giant said that most of the features of the app had been integrated into the main Facebook app and Messenger. The larger Portal Plus, comes with a 15-inch 1080p display. You can ask the device questions by using the voice command, 'Hey Portal'.

"Frankly if we don´t build the hardware, I do have concerns", Bosworth admitted, saying it was crucial to put "people first" whether delivering a platform for virtual reality or augmented reality. It's worth noting that you can't browse Facebook, the social network, on the Portal. The data affair uncovered problems with how Facebook allows third parties to access data it's gathered on its 2.2 billion monthly users.

Panthers QB Cam Newton declares he’s standing by new teammate, Eric Reid
Carolina also got a clutch play out of veteran Jarius Wright, who seems to be good for at least one of them every game. Center Ryan Kalil was shaken up late in the fourth quarter and did not return as Tyler Larsen finished the game.

Portal will be available in November, with prices starting at $199 for the standard model, which features a 10-inch 720p display and two speakers.

For a while we've been hearing rumours about Facebook developing its own smart devices, specifically smart speakers and smart displays (ala Echo Show).

Both Portals use AI technology to make video chatting better. Amazon's Echo Show can make video Drop-In calls as well as video calls through the Alexa app. Amazon will be adding support for Skype video chatting in the future, too.

The device includes what Facebook calls Smart Camera and Smart Sound technology, which uses artificial intelligence to automatically pan and zoom the camera to keep everyone speaking in view, while Smart Sound minimises background noise and enhances the voice of whoever is speaking to improve call quality.

The Portal Plus device can also swivel into vertical orientation, similar to how people are used to viewing and video-calling through their phones. Facebook has partnered with Spotify Premium, Pandora, and iHeartRadio, as well as Facebook Watch, Food Network and Newsy with mode on the way.

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