Published: Thu, October 11, 2018
Technology | By Lionel Gonzales

Facebook now wants to put a camera and mic at your home

Facebook now wants to put a camera and mic at your home

"Smart Camera stays with the action and automatically pans and zooms to keep everyone in view".

Facebook aims to compete with Amazon as it launches video-calling device. Smart Sound minimizes background noise and enhances the voice of whoever is talking, no matter where they move. Group calls are also available up to six people. However, it will not be possible to record. Facebook sends voice commands to its servers after users say "Hey Portal" to wake up the device, and that voice history can be deleted from a Facebook Activity Log. Towards that, it will also respond to "Hey Portal" when users are ready to make a video call. They also offer limited augmented reality features such as the ability to add digital mustaches and other items to users images on the screen. "When you can't be there, Portal and Portal+ let you feel there", explains company in a press statement.

While Facebook Portal might seem like the best smart speaker available on the market, no one can blame people for not wanting it in their homes. Spotify Premium, Pandora and iHeartRadio let users stream music on the devices, which also show programming from Facebook Watch, Food Network and Newsy.

Portal marks Facebook's foray into the smart speakers segment, taking on other tech giants like Amazon, Google and Apple.

There are two models, which are now available for pre-order in the United States from the official Facebook Portal website as well as selected retailers such as Amazon and Best Buy. Video and voice calls are encrypted and contents of them are not stored, the company said. You can also get $100 off if you buy two devices.

One dead after Hurricane Michael slams into Florida Panhandle
Are you affected by Hurricane Michael? Central pressure is the measure of how much the atmosphere in the middle of a storm weighs. Some of those areas are still working to recover from Hurricane Florence. "We have trees being uprooted, heavy, heavy rain".

Microsoft joins Open Invention Network to protect Linux from patent risks
OIN's chief mission is to protect Linux from patent lawsuits by having members like Google , RedHat, IBM , and now, Microsoft . Now, this move should help quell those looking to the company to make good on its claims as an ally to the Linux community.

Bride-to-be poses for heartbreaking wedding photos to honor tragic fiancé
The heartbreaking photos were shared more than 16,000 times, and many people were touched by the emotional post. It was supposed to be the happiest day of her life, but turned out to be one of the most painful.

Portal was designed as a screen and camera gadget to make video calling more intuitive and immersive by using Artificial Intelligence and motion sensors to detect movement during video calls. Portal connects calls with the help of the Facebook Messenger app. Facebook said the Portal will even be able to communicate with those who might not have the speaker installed at their end.

Portal will give users multiple ways to lock and turn off the various aspects of the device.

"We've seen a rise of video calling, on both Messenger and WhatsApp", Facebook's vice-president of consumer hardware Andrew Bosworth said before the launch of Portal. The firm estimated that device makers shipped almost 12 million smart speakers in Q2 2018, about 8 million more than a year ago.

Facebook says Portal does not collect information about people's home, listening only for voice commands. The company has been working on video conference hardware for some time but chose to put the project on hold earlier this year because of public outrage about Facebook's data-privacy practices.

Now, if you believe Facebook, these are secure devices: you can disable the 12MP camera and microphone with one tap, and/or use the built-in camera cover to block the lens (IMHO, something all computers and smart devices should come with).

Like this: