Facebook expands home video-calling Portal lineup

Last Updated: Thu, Sep 19, 2019 11:48 hrs
Facebook expands home video-calling Portal lineup

San Francisco: Facebook has expanded its Portal family of home video-calling devices with three new models: Portal, Portal Mini and Portal TV.

Facebook has added a new way to connect with friends on Portal through WhatsApp, in addition to Messenger calling. Portal offers hands-free voice control.

All WhatsApp calls on Portal are end-to-end encrypted, the company said in a statement late Wednesday.

In addition to the US and Canada, the Portal lineup is coming to the UK, France, Italy, Spain, Australia and New Zealand.

Portal and Portal Mini begin shipping from October 15 and Portal TV begins shipping from November 5.

Portal Mini costs $129, Portal $179 and Portal TV is for $149.

Portal Mini has an 8-inch HD display and Portal has larger 10-inch HD display for video calls, displaying photos and watching videos in either portrait or landscape orientations.

"Portal's AI-powered Smart Camera intelligently pans and zooms to stay with the action so you can move and talk freely while always being in frame," said Facebook.

You can disable the camera and microphone with a single tap or a sliding switch. For added security, Smart Camera and Smart Sound use AI technology that runs locally on Portal, not on Facebook servers.

The "Story Time" feature on Portal brings stories to life with animation, music and augmented reality (AR) effects.

"Portal's Superframe can display your favourite photos, videos and birthday reminders so you always feel a little more connected to your family and friends," the company added.

Portal has Amazon Prime Video app for streaming movies, including Amazon Originals.