Both speakers feature large displays and cameras to facilitate video calling and other communication functionality.
The device, which will be available for pre-order in the United States from Monday, is created to allow users to make video calls at home without having to stand immediately in front of the screen or hold a phone at arm´s length.
The company's Portal smart display is a 10.1-inch 720p device with a 12MP front camera. Meanwhile, the larger Portal+ boasts a 15.6-inch Full HD display, and it's coupled with 20W speakers and a four-inch bass woofer.
The devices are available for pre-order now for November shipping (no exact date was given) via Facebook and will be available soon at Amazon and Best Buy. And the company is clearly aware of that - so the device is created to respect your privacy, at least according to Facebook.
Portal integrates Amazon's Alexa voice assistant to handle search queries, and Amazon collects audio files of requests made to Alexa.
You can completely disable the camera and microphone with a single tap.
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Facebook has also built technology to ensure that the webcam can track and pan around the room, keeping the caller in-frame without requiring them to sit or stand in one position, or constantly readjust the device.
First going on sale in the USA in November, Portal will come with a 10in display for video calls, or a 15in display on the Portal+. Facebook says it and your friends can't look into your house anytime they want: Video chats have to be explicitly accepted before the camera cuts on.
"Facebook is a little bit late to the market for smart speakers", said Tom Morrod, a research director for consumer electronics and telecoms at IHS Markit. Most of the Portal's chatting features are opt-in, which means the user is shipped a device that gives them the power and onus to choose what features are enabled and disabled. These new widescreen displays are created to help you feel as though the two of you are in the same room.
Facebook uses AI in order to enhance the video and sound, these features are dubbed Smart Camera and Smart Sound.
Facebook won't make a profit from selling Portal or Portal+ at their current price points, according to a person familiar with the business. 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. People can delete their Portal voice history in their Facebook Activity Log at any time.
Although Facebook acquired virtual reality headset manufacturer Oculus in 2014, this is the first time it has developed a consumer hardware product in-house. Facebook said it can distinguish between different users and focus on them, but does not use facial recognition. If you preorder, though, you can save $100 when buying two Portal devices at once. "You can't watch YouTube; there's no web browser; WhatsApp and Instagram are nowhere to be found; and you can't send or receive normal Facebook messages, even if they're video recordings". Users can play music from Spotify, iHeartRadio, and Pandora and watch videos through Facebook Watch, Food Network, and Newsy.