Facebook Readies Portal Chat Device

Facebook Readies Portal Chat Device
The Portal will use artificial intelligence to track users' faces as they move around a room.

(CCM) — Facebook will unveil Portal, a video chat device similar to Amazon's Echo Show, at an event next week, according to a Cheddar report.

The company originally planned to release the Portal in May, but the launch was postponed because of Facebook's involvement in privacy scandals including the Cambridge Analytica data breach.

But now the company has decided to go ahead with the launch of the device, which will be available with two screen sizes, according to the report. The larger device will be priced at around $400, while the smaller one will cost about $300, Cheddar's sources said.

The Portal uses artificial intelligence software to recognize faces and follow them as they move around a room, according to the report. In response to low public trust in the Facebook brand following the Cambridge Analytica scandal, the company has decided to add a privacy shutter to the device which can cover its wide-angle camera, the report claims.

The Portal is integrated with Amazon's Alexa intelligent assistant, and allows users to stream music, watch video content, and summon news briefings.

Facebook's previous experiments with hardware include the Oculus Rift headset, which it acquired when it bought Oculus in 2014, and a phone jointly developed with HTC in 2013.

Image: ©tanuha2001 - Shutterstock.com