Facebook debuts new video chatting device Portal amid privacy and security concerns

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As with any other smart assistant device, Facebook will store commands you make after invoking the assistant with "Hey Portal" but you'll have the option to delete your voice history in the Facebook Activity Log. The new Facebook product comes in two versions, the Portal and the Portal+ and focuses mainly on Messenger video chats. However, preorders will be limited to USA buyers initially - Amazon and Best Buy will also stock them. Because the screen pivots, you can have chats in both landscape and portrait mode, unlike the vanilla Facebook Portal which is created to sit in landscape mode only. The 10.1-inch display has a resolution of 1280x800 and has 10W dual speakers. It has a 12-megapixel front-facing camera with 140-degree field of view.

And when you're not on a call, Portal's Superframe can display your favourite photos and videos and important notifications like birthday reminders, so you always feel a little more connected to your closest family and friends.

Both Portals come with dual-band Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.2 connectivity.

Facebook is now accepting pre-orders for the new devices and will be shipping them next month. Both come in white or black.

"Why, yes, please record and analyze the way I move, what I eat, what I listen to, how many guests are in my home, how many of my guests are Facebook friends", Twitter user Eric J. Schulze sarcastically tweeted. Facebook says that the smart cameras, although they lack facial recognition feature for now, will be able to follow users while video calls while they are "cooking in the kitchen or chasing the kids around the living room".

Already up for pre-order starting at $199, Portal has a 10-inch 1280 x 800 display.

The mics go hand in hand with what Facebook calls its Smart Sound technology that's embedded into both Portal devices.

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Portal will not display Facebook ads "at this time", the company said, although it noted that third-party services such as music streaming might embed their own ads the same way they do on other devices. Portal itself will be fitted out to use augmented reality effects that have become popular on Facebook Messenger. Since then, people have become hyper-aware of how much their private information is available not just to Facebook, but to ...

We've reached out to Facebook to find out about worldwide availability and will update with any new information.

As for privacy, Facebook claims they're taking it very seriously. There's also a physical camera cover provided with each Portal and Portal+ unit, as well as a button allowing you to "completely" disable the camera and microphone.

After lengthy rumours Facebook has finally announced Portal, their answer to the Amazon Echo Show.

Facebook is a software company famous for pushing out products quickly and adjusting later depending on the level of uproar. Facebook has partnered with Spotify Premium, Pandora, and iHeartRadio, as well as Facebook Watch, Food Network and Newsy with mode on the way.

But the Portal, reportedly delayed from an earlier launch by the Cambridge Analytica data scandal, will pay an extra price for Facebook's years of playing fast and loose with our privacy.

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