Facebook maintains the offensive to complete its presence in the networks with its own devices. If a few days ago he presented a virtual reality viewer, today he has launched in the United States Portal and Portal +, two devices for videoconferencing that is nourished by artificial intelligence.
According to the company announced, the devices have a screen of 10 inches (25.4 centimeters diagonally) or 15 inches (38 centimeters) and with resolutions of 1,200 by 800 and 1,920 by 1,080, depending on the model.
Both models are available for demand in the United States on the company's own website, on Amazon and at Best Buy, but will not start being delivered until November. The smallest model costs 199 dollars (163 euros) and 349 (304 euros) the largest. If both are purchased, the price is reduced to 298 dollars (259 euros).
The new devices have camera and sound technology equipped with artificial intelligence so that the user does not have to be in front of the screen. The camera has a zoom and a sweeping system that looks for the interlocutor if it is not in the foreground. For its part, the sound system reduces ambient noise and optimizes that of the speaker, even if it moves.
The devices allow group calls and connection with Facebook and Messenger contacts if they do not have the device. Similarly, Amazon cloud voice assistant, Alexa, can establish a call using the "Hey Portal" sound command or respond to the user's demands on the device.
Facebook has tried to anticipate the security gaps detected in this type of device and ensures that you can turn off the camera and microphone with a simple touch and that it has a cover to avoid unintended images. This allows you to continue receiving notifications or calls as well as continue to be used through voice commands.
Access to Portal will be done with a password between four and 12 digits and its modification will require authentication through the Facebook password.
Faced with privacy violations, the company ensures that its device does not hear, see or save any of the operations carried out through the Portal, whose video calls will be encrypted.
In addition, artificial intelligence systems for the camera and sound do not use Facebook servers but act locally and do not identify the interlocutor or have face recognition. However, they do use the Facebook infrastructure once the call is activated, so a feature has been enabled to delete the history at any time.
In addition to video calls, Portal allows you to listen to music or watch videos, for which it has the collaboration of Spotify Premium, Pandora iHeart Radio, Facebook Watch and others that have joined and will be added soon to the service.
A teleprompter, such as the one used by television networks for announcers to read looking at the camera, augmented reality effects or the voluntary distortion of images are also other utilities of the device. If it is not being used directly, the standby mode can act as a digital frame or to leave messages.