Facebook has launched a new hardware component like an iPad which will allow people to video chat with their friends through social media. The hardware component is called Portal. A video released by Facebook shows a roving AI camera built into the device which can track your movements to make sure you are in the frame during the conversation. The product has been released at a time when Facebook is already in hot waters over the security and privacy issues. A security breach was confirmed just a week ago which affected 50 million accounts.
Portal and Portal+ can be purchased for $199 and $349 respectively. Portal’s rollout shows the company’s aims to trade in hardware as well apart from the web content. Facebook previously partnered with HTC to create smartphones but couldn’t succeed in the market. Newly released Portal comes with an AI-enabled smart camera and sound with Amazon’s Alexa as its home assistant. The company has ensured that the Portal’s camera runs locally and is not connected on the Facebook’s servers. The company said, “Portal conversations stay between you and the people you’re calling.” People can disable Portal’s microphone or physically shutter its camera as well. Simply putting, Facebook is ensuring that your data remains yours.
Facebook’s product is a little late to the market since there are already many apps and home assistance available. Meanwhile, the reputation which the company has maintained these days is also a nightmare. Facebook Portal will also add some fire to the conspiracy theory that Facebook’s app eavesdrops on conversations to target people with ads. However, since people are still using Facebook after all the scandals, this means that there might even be a chance for Facebook Portal.