Facebook has finally unveiled its very own hardware device called the Portal, which is an advanced video camera with an array of speakers. Portal is a home assistant, similar to the Alexa assistant from Amazon. It actually includes Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant (it is even activated by the words “hey Portal”). It features a few preloaded apps that include Spotify and some search tools. A different platform will allow more applications to be created for Portal. Being a video camera, it allows people to have a conversation with others, by providing access to Facebook Messenger.
What’s special about this cool gadget is that it kind of enables individuals to hang out with friends and family, using video calls. It supports group chat which can be used to have a discussion with your friends from the comfort of your couch, or even your bed when you can’t physically go to your friends’ house. All one needs to do is say the words, “hey Portal, call James”, and you can have a video call with your friend James.
What’s cooler is the fact that Portal has an AI functionality that tracks the movement of a person’s face and can automatically zoom in or out to include everyone’s face in a group photo. The tracking feature also pans the camera to track the user. So, suppose if you want to get a beer while having a conversation with your friend, you get up from your recliner and walk over to the refrigerator, Portal’s camera will track your movement. It is just as if someone turned their heads to face a user who is moving from a position to another.