Daily Management Review

Facebook releases videochat devices Portal and Portal Plus


10/30/2018


Since 2004, Facebook has been claiming that it wanted people on earth to be closer to each other. To achieve this goal, the company relied on applications for the web and smartphones. But software alone is not enough. On Monday, Facebook introduced a pair of video call devices - Portal and Portal Plus - to expand its influence. Portal and Portal Plus with 12-megapixel cameras and artificial intelligence can be used for video chats.



Minette Lontsie
Minette Lontsie
The camera, which uses AI algorithms, monitors the user's movements, allowing him to communicate without constraint. The devices also include Alexa from Amazon, which can check the weather or pick up the music.

The 10-inch Portal will be sold for $ 199, and another model with a 15-inch swivel display - for $ 349. Facebook plans to offer devices on a separate site, and will also launch a vigorous marketing campaign.

These devices are Facebook's first serious attempt to break into the design, creation and sale of user equipment from scratch. If Portals is successful, the company will be able to get more people to use its social network on an ongoing basis so that they can communicate with friends and family, as well as applications like Spotify and Pandora.

And yet, Facebook could not choose a worse moment. After two years of scandals, the company will advertise Portal and Portal Plus to a skeptical public. Last year, the company talked about a security breach, as a result of which at least 50 million user accounts were compromised along with numerous third-party applications.

To address the privacy concerns of Portal and Portal Plus, Facebook said the products include an electronic switch for the front camera, as well as lens coating. In addition, video calls are encrypted, and the artificial intelligence of the camera works on the device itself, and not on Facebook servers.

The company said that the usefulness of devices operating on a home Wi-Fi connection will convince people of the importance of their presence in the house. The devices are built on the Facebook Messenger platform, and communication software is linked to the network of Facebook users. As soon as Portal connects to your Messenger account, people can call up video chatting with anyone, be it Portal, tablet, smartphone, or computer.

Facebook is entering a highly competitive market. Voice-guided smart speakers, which are embodied in a separate category, are still a small but growing market. In the past quarter, manufacturers shipped 16.8 million smart speakers (this is 187% more than in the same period last year). Amazon and Google dominate the US smart speaker market. In China, Alibaba and Xiaomi are rapidly gaining momentum.

source: washingtonpost.com






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