Online Backlash Mars Facebook Portal Smart Speaker Launch with Spotify, Pandora, iHeart

Facebook Introduces AR Enhanced Video Calling Devices

The social media and networking platform, which counted over two BILLION active users in the second quarter of 2018 just launched two Artificial Intelligence powered smart video chat devices, Portal and Portal + making calling and connecting with people easier. The Portals also include Amazon's voice-controlled Alexa, positioning the devices firmly as a competitor to other smart speaker devices like Google Home and Apple's HomePod.

The company revealed the pair, Portal and Portal+, on its website yesterday along with a video showcasing the product's aim, where people were sent the device and asked to try it out.

Also, while the Portal leverages its video screen to allow users to apply augmented reality emojis and other AR features to their video calls, the screen doesn't do much more than that.

Portal has a 10-inch 1280 x 800 display, focuses on improving video calling and offering quality time with family and friends - in a hands and distraction-free environment.

Novelties from Facebook is available for pre-order in the United States, deliveries should begin in November.

The reason we are saying people are not liking Facebook's new Portal is because this smart home speaker features a set of cameras that follow people around. The Smart Camera and Smart Sound will use AI technology that runs locally on Portal, not on Facebook servers.

You can carry Portal with you to places so that there is this way to remotely accompany people you love to spend your time with! "With a camera and video in your house, your bedroom, your living room that takes voice commands, how do you know if your information will be retained?"

Users can completely disable the camera and microphone with a single tap. You can also receive $100 Dollars off any two devices - this means a bundle of two Portal devices will be priced at $298 USD, so you can share the experience right out of the box.

Facebook further revealed that it teamed up with companies such as Spotify, Food Network and iHeartRadio (along with its own Watch) to allow shared activities through Portal devices. Callers always stay in frame, as the device's smart camera (with an 8x zoom) constantly adjusts to your motion.

But despite having Amazon as a retail partner and the Alexa integration, its unclear that Amazon Music can be accessed via Alexa on a Portal speaker. Facebook came out on Monday with its video portal. The Facebook Portal, meanwhile, will likely not help downplay those concerns.

Facebook said the new device was "built with privacy and security in mind". Despite the recently reported data breach that may have compromised the data of 50 million users, Facebook chose to launch the device to be able to participate in the upcoming holiday shopping season.

Facebook says it won't "listen to, view or keep the contents" of video calls, adding that the Portal camera won't use facial recognition or identify people in the video calls.

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