What is Portal from Facebook? A guide to Facebook’s Alexa-enabled video-chatting devices and their features – DIGIWIZ CENTRAL

What is Portal from Facebook? A guide to Facebook’s Alexa-enabled video-chatting devices and their features

There are several different versions of Facebook Portal available at a range of prices.

JOSH EDELSON / Contributor/Getty Images

Portal from Facebook is a family of video-chatting devices with AR features and a smart camera.
The Portal can make calls through Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and Zoom.
Meta has discontinued the Portal.

Meta Portal, formerly called Facebook Portal, is a smart device used to video chat with friends and family. The Portal is like a dedicated video phone with futuristic flare.

It’s equipped with a high-quality camera and movement-tracking software that follows your movements. Sensitive mics pick up the detail in your voice, and its speakers provide quality audio. No microphone and headphone combo is necessary. 

The Portal itself was a bit prescient, coming out more than a year before video chatting became a normal part of daily life. Meta has since discontinued the Portal.

Why was Facebook Portal discontinued?

The Portal was a casualty of Meta cutting costs in offices and products, parts of its business where the company has been scaling back investment, Insider previously reported. 

Meta Portal devices are currently unavailable for purchase on Meta’s website or in retail stores. The company says it will continue providing support for existing device owners.

“While supported features will change over time, we will provide notifications of major changes to the device experiences through the device itself,” the Meta website reads. 

What is Portal from Facebook?

Portal uses Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and Zoom for video calls. If you don’t have a Facebook account, you’ll want to make one to use the Portal.

But unlike a laptop, phone or tablet, it’s not exactly a portable device — you need to plug in the Portal. What you lose there, you gain in a better camera with higher audio quality.

Portal features high-quality video and audio.

JOSH EDELSON / Contributor/Getty Images

The Portal looks like a boxy picture frame with a built-in stand that you can set at a desk or countertop either vertically or horizontally. The camera’s person-tracking software keeps you in frame while talking, so you can have a conversation while multitasking (laundry, cooking, etc.) or moving around.

A four-microphone array (eight on the Portal TV) captures your voice while your friends’ voices come from speakers and a subwoofer.

The Portal camera has a wider range of view than traditional webcams.

Smith Collection/Gado / Contributor/Getty Images

For those concerned with privacy, the camera and microphones can be disabled using a switch on the device.

Portal’s key features

While the Portal is a Facebook product, it is Amazon Alexa-enabled. You can use the AI assistant to set timers, cue music, and access smart devices like the Ring doorbell to see who is at the door.

The Portal also comes with a growing number of AR (Augmented Reality) effects similar to Snapchat filters, like putting bunny ears or a mustache on yourself during a call. One unique feature is Storytime, where you can select from a library of stories to read aloud with added sound effects and animations. This is perfect to entertain kids from afar.

When you’re not on a call, you can set the portal to display Facebook photos like a digital frame. It can also tell you when friends are available to talk.

Facebook’s Portal devices come in four different sizes at a range of prices.

JOSH EDELSON / Contributor/Getty Images

You can even use the Portal as a note-taking device to keep your household up to date with reminders and videos. 

Different versions of the Portal

There are four versions of the Portal: 

The Portal Mini is the smallest and most affordable version of the device with an 8-inch HD screen.The regular Portal has a 10-inch display.The Portal+ has a 15.6-inch display.The Portal TV doesn’t have a screen because it uses your television as a screen. The device is compatible with Netflix and some other streaming services.

With the exception of the Portal TV, the differences come down mostly to screen size, speaker size, and each camera’s field of view. The Portal Mini, Portal, and Portal+ come in black and white, while the Portal TV comes in black only.

Read the original article on Business Insider
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