Facebook's 'Portal' to launch later this year with a new design
What makes the Portal a very good video calling device is its camera’s capabilities to track the user within its 140-degrees field of view.
June 14, 2019 / 03:32 PM IST
Facebook is launching its ‘Portal’ later this year with a new design. The social-media giant has confirmed that its Alexa-enabled video calling device would launch during Fall 2019.
Facebook’s VP of Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality(VR) Andrew Bosworth confirmed the same at the Vox Media’s Code Convention. He stated that the company is working on new form-factors for Portal.
Bosworth stated that in spite of ‘really good’ sales, the company is working on new designs for Portal that would release during the second half of 2019.
TechCrunch reported that a device with the codename ‘Ripley’ was spotted on Portal firmware code last year. The device would allow users to attach a camera on top of a TV, avoiding the necessity of a dedicated video-calling device.
Portal was launched in October last year in two variants. The standard Portal with a 10-inch display costs $199 whereas the 15-inch Portal Plus costs $349. Launching the new Portal device with a lesser price tag could possibly attract more people to try the video-calling device.
Both the devices come equipped with Amazon’s Alexa smart assistant and include ‘smart camera and smart sound’ tech. The unit can be placed on any flat surface, which eliminates the hassles of holding the device in a user’s hands while video-calling. What makes the Portal a very good video calling device is its camera’s capabilities to track the user within its 140-degrees field of view. The camera can also pan or zoom to focus on the user in a room full of people.
Facebook has not launched Portal in India yet, and there are no expectations of it coming to the country anytime soon.