Six cool features of Facebook's three new Portal devices
Technology / 21 September 2019, 8:00pm / Dhivana Rajgopaul
DURBAN - Facebook has expanded their range of Portal home video-calling devices with three new models: Portal, Portal Mini and Portal TV.
The new, redesigned Portal and all-new Portal Mini feature a sleek picture frame design to fit seamlessly into any home. Portal Mini has an 8-inch HD display and Portal has larger 10-inch HD display for video calls, displaying photos and watching videos in either portrait or landscape orientations.
An adaptive display adjusts brightness and color to users surroundings so that video calls as well as photos and videos on Superframe look natural. Both Portal and Portal Mini also have a powerful built-in speaker that is great for listening to music when users are not on a call.
The Power of Smart Video Calling
Portal’s AI-powered Smart Camera intelligently pans and zooms to stay with the action so that users can move and talk freely while always being in frame. Smart Sound enhances the voice of whoever is speaking while minimizing unwanted background noise.
Portal has clear and simple settings for privacy and security. Users can disable the camera and microphone with a single tap or a sliding switch. A red light next to the lens indicates the camera and microphone are off and there’s an integrated camera cover if users want to physically block the camera lens.
For added security, Smart Camera and Smart Sound use AI technology that runs locally on Portal, not on Facebook servers.
If users have “Hey Portal” enabled, Portal listens for the phrase "Hey Portal". If it’s detected, Portal sends a short audio recording and transcript of the "Hey Portal" voice interaction to Facebook.
Users can view, hear and delete any of your “Hey Portal” voice interactions in your Facebook Activity Log. You can also turn off voice storage in Settings anytime, which means that your voice interactions are not stored or reviewed.
WhatsApp Calling on Portal
Facebook has added a new way for users to connect with friends on Portal through WhatsApp as well as Messenger calling. All WhatsApp calls on Portal are end-to-end encrypted.
Portal TV allows users to watch shows like “Red Table Talk” and other Facebook Watch content together with friends or family who aren’t there with you.
Superframe Photos and Videos
Portal’s Superframe can display users favorite photos, videos and birthday reminders so that they can always feel a little more connected to their family and friends.
Amazon Prime Video and More
With the Amazon Prime Video app on Portal TV, users can stream tehur favourite shows and movies, including Amazon Originals. They can also download other apps like SHOWTIME, CBS All Access, Starz, Pluto TV, Red Bull TV and Neverthink with more apps coming soon.
Portal also has a great speaker so users can listen to their favourite music from Spotify, Pandora and iHeartRadio and iHeartRadio Family.
All the Portal devices have Alexa built in, and they now have access to Alexa skills on Portal.
The company announced that the Portal lineup will be available in the UK, France, Italy, Spain, Australia and New Zealand. Portal Mini is $129 (R1918.23), Portal is $179 (R2661,73) and Portal TV is $149 (R2215,63).