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A few months ago, it was only a rumor that Facebook was working on a TV-centered device, but what many did not know is that it is not only more than a rumor, the suspected project is geared towards revolutionizing the way we use the television.
Today, users of Portal from Facebook have more options available to them to connect with their loved ones and friends, no matter how wide the distance between them is. With the following three new additions, Portal, Portal Mini, and Portal TV, users can expect more when it comes to video-calling.
Availability and Cost
Following the addition of the Portal TV, the Portal family is set to be accessible to more countries, aside from the US and Canada, such as France, New Zealand, Australia, Spain, Italy, and the United Kingdom. Portal can now be pre-ordered from select retail stores and portal.facebook.com for users in the US, Canada, and Europe. Shipping begins from October 15 for Portal and Portal Mini while November 5 is scheduled for the Portal TV.
The cost of Portal Mini is set for $129, while Portal will cost $179 and Portal TV is $149. Buyers will get a $50 discount when they bundle any two Portal devices.
The Portal TV: Make Your Home Smarter
The Portal TV from Facebook is designed to work with a TV big-screen to make video calls more intimate and real.
The device is clipped to the top side of a flat-screen TV, which enables it to connect to the screen and speakers of the television, thereby giving users a far better display experience than what is obtainable with the 8-inch Portal Mini or the 10-inch Portal.
The Portal TV gives users more room to move around and express themselves during video calls, without worrying about not being seen by the other party.
Can Facebook Be Trusted?
Privacy concerns about the company, Facebook, cannot simply be swept under the rug, going by its past record. Concerns about the misuse of users’ data are totally valid. Portal has put in place certain features that can put the minds of users at rest.
Users can disable the microphone and camera with a sliding switch or a single tap. A red light appears next to the lens, which notifies the user that both the microphone and camera are off. Also, there is a camera cover available, if you don’t want to take chances, to physically close the camera lens by yourself.
The Smart Sound and Smart Camera make use of AI technology that operates locally on Portal and not on Facebook servers, thereby providing more security to users.
Also, Whatsapp calls will soon be available on Portal, and all calls are expected to be end-to-end encrypted.
Facebook Smart AR Glasses Coming Soon
Notably, Facebook has been making headlines recently after the company joined forces with Luxottica, the manufacturer of Ray-Ban, to design smart Augmented Reality (AR) glasses. Back in 2014, Luxottica worked with Google to create and sell the Google Glass wearable device.
‘Stella,’ as the project is called, is designed to have high-end functions and to test the response of consumers to a visual product from Facebook. This exciting product is expected to hit the market between 2023 and 2025 and will be equipped with a camera on the eyeglass frame to record and share events experienced by the user.