Facebook's Portal video chat displays have faced quite a bit of scrutiny over the past year due to the company's terrible record when it comes to privacy , security and lack of transparency. Perhaps as a result, reports have surfaced that Portal products are not selling very well. But that hasn't stopped Facebook from moving forward with the idea. The large TV screen and wide field-of-view make for a great video chat experience. If both parties have a Portal TV, they can watch videos together, though it only works with Facebook Watch for now. This time, it's a camera that turns your television into a giant video chat display. Maybe you've seen its ads featuring the Muppets.
What's the difference between a Portal, Portal Mini, Portal Plus and Portal TV?
What is Facebook Portal and how does it work?
Facebook expands its smart home reach with a refresh that includes two new devices. Facebook introduced two new Portal devices in addition to a refresh of its inch Portal smart screen this week. They join the first-edition Portal Plus , which has not been updated. The devices are designed primarily with video calling in mind and are controlled using Facebook's own "Hey, Portal" voice service, as well as via built-in Alexa functionality. Conversations over privacy have eclipsed sales of Portal devices over the last year, making clear the social networking giant is battling its own reputation for market share. Not to mention, stiff competition from the likes of Apple , Google and Amazon have further thwarted Facebook's attempt to stake a serious claim in the fast-growing smart home space. Even if you're not considering buying hardware from a company still at the heart of continuing privacy concerns , here's what you need to know about Facebook's new line of Portal smart devices, including what it says about how Facebook plans to manage your data going forward. Since its inception last year, Facebook Portal mostly lets you video chat with your Facebook friends. The unit sits on a desk or table or near your TV, and the camera follows as you walk around, so you can talk to someone completely hands-free while doing other things.
Makes video calls with Messenger and WhatsApp
You might have seen the Facebook Portal on a shelf at Best Buy or seen one of the more recent advertisements on TV, like that over the top Super Bowl commercial. And like many viewers, you might have asked yourself: what exactly is the Facebook Portal device? The smart device has not gotten as much widespread media coverage as others have, a fact that Facebook is now taking pains to remedy.
When I was little, I communicated with my grandparents on the other side of the globe through awkward, truncated phone calls, letters sprinkled with foreign languages, and care packages full of dried mangos and underwear. FaceTime has been an immeasurable improvement, but it's not perfect. I can convince my 2-year-old and 4-year-old children to sit in front of an iPad Mini for only a few minutes at a time. They stare blankly at my parents, who sit on a couch thousands of miles away and stare right back at them. It's like taking telephone calls while trapped in a glass case of emotion. The Facebook Portal changed that. My 4-year-old puts a kitty face on herself, and my son shows my parents his robot. My husband and I can talk or eat hands-free, without pointing a phone at someone and trying to keep a squirmy toddler's head in frame.