Published: Sat, October 13, 2018
Industry | By Dora Warner

Google Home Hub vs. Amazon vs. Facebook

Google Home Hub vs. Amazon vs. Facebook

Company Facebook introduced a line of smart screens Portal for video conferencing.

Facebook Inc (FB.O) on Monday released a smart speaker created to ease video calls, but the company's history of privacy mishaps and the device's price and limited functionality could slow it from taking on market leaders Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O) and Alphabet Inc's (GOOGL.O) Google.

But Chinese companies have been building smart displays for a while, with Baidu and JD.com leading the way - despite the fact that Chinese consumers have shown little appetite for smart speakers yet, according to the China Internet Report 2018.

Available in both 10- and 15-inch models (for $199 and $349), the new Portal lets you make important calls by saying, "Hey Portal, call Mom".

Users can call Facebook friends and connections on Messenger even if they don't have Portal.

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Facebook is taking orders for its first consumer electronics devices, the Portal and Portal+, equipped with an artificial intelligence-driven camera and sound technology to allow users to engage in video calls. In addition, it supported voice control with Amazon Alexa.

Portal has a 10-inch 1280 x 800 display, focuses on improving video calling and offering quality time with family and friends - in a hands and distraction-free environment.

Portal and Portal+ are available now for pre-order in the U.S. - from Facebook at portal.facebook.com, as well as Amazon and Best Buy - and will begin shipping in November.

Smart screens also feature augmented reality. Portal connects calls through Messenger, meaning that it can reach people who don't have a Portal themselves.

When you turn on Home and Away, Portal will use your mobile phone and Portal's location to know when you're home and available to call.

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Portal also enables shared activities like listening to music together or watching your favourite shows.

One early review of the device from The Washington Post said Portal had a lot going for it by reducing the awkwardness of video chats.

With the debut of the Portal device and its sibling, the Portal+, the company has apparently decided that now is the right time to persuade Americans to put Facebook microphones, data-harvesting technologies and video cameras inside their homes. It is wide enough to capture the whole living room, but with the help of Smart camera software Portal recognises a human in the frame and crops the image and zoom in, it does so smoothly, as a skilled cameraman does. We have already read about the massive security breach that affected 22.2 million Facebook users. Rival smart speakers with screens lack a video-chatting app that is as popular.

Mark Zuckerberg noticed that everyone is talking about how Facebook Portal is eavesdropping on their conversations and he decided to make the following statement: "Facebook Portal doesn't listen to, view, or keep the contents of your Portal video calls".

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