Link: Facebook Launches Portal ☍

Shared on October 8, 2018

Jacob Kastrenakes for The Verge:

As Facebook works to contain the fallout from its biggest-ever data breach, the company is introducing a product that will bring a camera and microphone into your living room. Facebook Portal, and the larger Portal Plus, are smart displays that are laser-focused on video chatting.

The first hardware products marketed under the Facebook brand, the Portals can be used to call other Portal users, or anyone who has Facebook or Facebook Messenger. The Portals can play music through Spotify and Pandora, or stream video from Facebook Watch, but these are intentionally limited devices. For better and for worse, you can’t even browse Facebook. […]

The Portal is designed to simplify video chatting by having a wide-angle camera capable of identifying your body, then tracking you as you move around the room. It makes for more comfortable chatting than holding a phone up to your face for extended periods of time. Facebook says the Portal is designed to create the sense that you’re sharing one big room with the people you’re talking to, and considers the chats you have on the device an augmented reality experience.

For a device designed to literally read the room (among other things), the timing of the launch shows that Facebook can’t do the same. No thanks.

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