Facebook Enters The Smart Speaker Space With New Devices

Facebook Introduces AR Enhanced Video Calling Devices

Facebook Introduces AR Enhanced Video Calling Devices

Given recent hacks and abuses by developers, could Facebook really be trusted to protect users and keep the device.from becoming a spy cam.

Travis Ruff, chief information security officer for customer data platform Amperity, acknowledges the skepticism, but thinks the functionality will overcome users' privacy concerns. Also, calls can be made from and to Messenger-enabled smartphones and tablets. The smart sound technology minimizes background noise and enhances the voice of whoever is talking, irrespective of wherever they are in the room.

Just like smart speakers, Portal is Alexa powered and the cue word to communicate will be "Hey Portal". Hub sports a 7-inch screen, compared to Facebook's screens at 10.1 and 15.6 inches and Echo's 10 inches.

Portal offers hands-free voice control, so users can start a video call simply by saying "Hey Portal" and noting who they'd like to call.

The devices will go on sale in the U.S. in November.

Portal enables shared activities like listening to music together or watching some of your favorite shows.

Both Portal devices can connect with any user who has the Messenger app, Portal or no Portal. To manage Portal access within the home, users can set a four- to 12-digit passcode to keep the screen locked and changing the passcode would require the Facebook password.

Tapping the top of the devices allows users to switch off their microphones and cameras.

Portal's smart camera can detect the number of persons in the room and automatically adjust itself to include everyone inside the frame.

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Zuckerberg has addressed such concerns, and sought to reassure consumers. The regular Portal blends in easily in couched rooms, say the kitchen or above a TV.

In terms of privacy, Facebook claims the calls are encrypted and that Facebook does not listen in or save a copy of them. "All the calls are always completely private".

Unfortunately, such data breaches have reduced the people's trust in the social network over the past few months.

While some reports suggest that the Facebook video chat portal had been held back following the data breach scandal, Andrew Bosworth, Facebook's head of VR and AR hardware, told Telegraph otherwise.

Against this backdrop, it would be interesting to see whether Portal could make a dent in the market.

"With a 10-inch 1280 x 800 display, Portal from Facebook improves video calling and lets you enjoy quality time with family and friends".

When you turn on Home and Away, Portal will use your mobile phone and Portal's location to know when you're home and available to call.

Amazon will be first to stores, with the revamped and larger Echo unit available Thursday, while Google's Home Hub, an extension of the Home speaker line, will be released on October 22. Facebook executives have repeatedly said that the company does not use the contents of messages or calls for advertising purposes and will not do so in the future.

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