Facebook, the global social media giant recently presented smart video speakers powered by artificial intelligence, named as Portal and Portal+. Facebook said that the speakers are designed to make people feel like they are present in the same room. Having tablet-sized screens, the smart video speaker devices are expected to revolutionize video calling, and the way people keep in touch. The unique selling point of Portal and Portal+ is their ability to make video chatting seem like hanging out with your connections, according to Xinhua. This foray by Facebook into consumer hardware, which is generally dominated by internet giants Google and Amazon, is being seen as a pretty bold move for the social media enterprise. Amazon and Google launched their smart speaker several year ago, and are currently enjoying monopoly in the market.
Portal, which comprises of a 10” display screen with a 1280*800 resolution, allows users to easily video chat with their friends or family on Facebook Messenger, their patented Messaging App. Portal+ offers a 15” screen with a 1920*1080 resolution pivoting display. The smart speakers are also reported to have a decent sound and camera technology, enabling the user a hands-free and convenient experience.
However, while the launch of these smart speakers is seen as a strategically big move for the company, recent cases of user privacy breach would not bode well for the new products. Facebook was deeply questioned regarding its security measures, and protection of sensitive user data ever since Cambridge Analytica, a British data mining company was found to have illegally obtained data of 87 million users of Facebook.