Is Facebook Portal the next big smart home device?

Meet Facebook Portal.

Just when you thought we were about covered for smart home tech, along comes Facebook and pulls its own out the bag.

By the looks of this new device, Facebook isn’t messing about either. Let’s take a closer look at the Facebook Portal.

Portal From Facebook: Design

The Facebook Portal looks a bit like something from a sci-fi film, but this bit of gear is actually real.

The two devices have been designed around video calling, so it’s no surprise that the large screens are the main features on both the Portal home and Portal+.

Both models feel like they can easily be integrated into your abode too, with the Portal home looking like an upright tablet, which can easily be moved between rooms and placed on any surface. It also has a speaker bar across the bottom.

The Portal+ stands at 17.7-inches tall, meaning this is a product that is more likely to replace your kitchen TV, and can be best described as an oversized tablet. But, we’ll let you be the judge of that.

On the Portal+ though, you can rotate the screen to either portrait or landscape meaning it can fit in more areas of your home.

Portal From Facebook: Security

With all the bad press and headlines Facebook has been making recently, losing 29 millions peoples details to hackers for example, one thing you’re going to be concerned about is your privacy.

Well, you may be happy to learn that the Portal has been built with privacy and security in mind.

You’ll be able to disable the camera and microphone, there’s a red light that tells you these are disabled, you also get a camera cover, screen lock and home and away mode.

You get full control over your voice search history too, and apparently, there’s no one listening to your video calls – contrary to some reports earlier in the year, slamming Facebook for listening to us…

You may be happy to know that there’s no facial recognition on the camera, so it can’t identify who you are. Also, the Smart Camera uses your local network, not Facebook servers.

Portal From Facebook: Features

It’s all about staying connected and talking with these devices, so no surprises that the primary focus is around video calling.

Both devices sport microphones, with 360° pickup, two at the front and two on the back, so it can pick up your voice as you move around. Both models have two speaker variants, and the Portal+ includes bass too.

From its 12-megapixel Smart Camera, you’ll be able to make video calls to friends and family in clear and crisp detail, whatever you’re doing.

You can share content, check notifications and ask Alexa to find things for you. Even take a cookery class or take part in some yoga, if you feel that way inclined. Basically, there’s a lot more you can do here other than just checking the weather.

If you enjoy music while you’re doing your thing, there’s a Spotify integration too, so you can listen to your favourite beats all around the house from its hi-fi speakers.

How Much Will Portal Cost and Where Can I Get One

Sadly, they’re available to pre-order now, but only in the USA. They can be purchased from Facebook’s Portal site and via Amazon. It’s likely the devices will start shipping in November 2018.

A Portal home will cost you around $199 (approx. £150), and Facebook Portal+ $349 (approx. £264).

So, there’s everything you need to know about Facebook Portal. And if you’re reading this, Facebook, remember we’ve been nice!

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