Facebook launches home video chat “Portal”

U.S. & World

MENLO PARK, CA (NBC News) Facebook is launching new smart home devices made for video calling.

The new Facebook Portal smart speakers bring Messenger video chat to your home, equipped with artificial intelligence features that aim to make video calling more immersive.

“We frame you perfectly, pan and zoom to make you forget the device and feel like you’re there,” says Facebook’s Rafa Camargo.

The $200 Portal features a 10 inch screen and the $350 Portal+ has a 15 inch pivoting display. Both have Alexa-enabled voice control.

After recent data breaches, the social media giant has the challenge of getting consumers to trust bringing a Facebook camera and microphones into their homes. 

Facebook says it does not listen, view or save your calls.

Portal also has a camera cover, password protection and a feature to disable the mic and camera with one touch, but that may not be enough for some of Facebook’s critics.

“They have privacy issues they need to address and having a device that could invade your home is a problem,” says Recode’s Kara Swisher.

 

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