Facebook launching its Smart Display ‘Portal’

Facebook’s Smart Display with own voice assistant

It has been long rumored that Facebook is working on a Smart Display equipped with its own voice assistant. In fact, reports from January this year suggested that Facebook could launch its Smart Display codenamed ‘Portal’ in May. However, we all know that did not happen. Now, a new report claims that Facebook will finally unveil the said Portal Smart Display this week.

Portal Video Chat Device

According to a new report from Cheddar, Facebook will unveil the device for home this week, and it’ll come in two screen sizes. The report claims that Facebook will be unveiling the Portal ‘video chat device’ with similar features like the Amazon Echo Show. The device will be sporting a smart display and a camera for video chatting purposes and facial recognition. The report further suggests that Facebook’s Portal will use make use of AI facial recognition features and that its wide-angle camera will feature a privacy shutter which can cover the camera lens when it’s not in use.

Aloha Voice Recognition with Portal?

Earlier reports suggested that the social media giant is developing its own voice recognition tool called Aloha. Dubbed ‘Aloha Voice Testing’ the feature said to facilitate speech-to-text-to-speech conversion, allowing Messenger users more ways to interact with each other on the platform. It believed that Aloha users will be able to dictate words to Aloha. And the tool will type it out to Messenger. There is no word about Aloha in the latest report and we don’t know if Facebook will announce the same alongside ‘Portal’.

Privacy

Privacy is now a big concern for Facebook. So according to report, Facebook’s upcoming Portal device will feature a privacy shutter that can cover the device’s wide-angle video camera. The device uses artificial intelligence (AI) “to recognize people in the frame and follow them as they move throughout a room,”. And Facebook recently developed shutter after the controversial Cambridge Analytica issue.

Other Features and Pricing

Aside from its AI-powered video chat camera, this new Portal device will feature integration with Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant. It’ll let users play music, watch videos, see cooking recipes, and more. The device said to be in testing for now, and it’ll start around $300 (approximately Rs. 21775.50). There will be a big screen variant too, which will cost around $400 (approximately Rs. 29034). It is also been reported that Facebook employees have been testing it for months, and the company has already shown it to major retailers in the United States.



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