Facebook is always at it to make it bigger and better from acquiring Instagram and WhatsApp to launching something interesting on it. Messenger is a separate app that has already sent all the popular IM, video, voice calling apps to home. The interlinked sharing option from Instagram story & post to Facebook, WhatsApp story to Facebook, and so much more to explore.
Facebook is now all set to launch its own portal TV device, not too long ago it announced to bring the video chats to wide-angle screens. You can easily plug into your TV sets via HDMI post, all you have to do is sign in to your Facebook, WhatsApp, Messenger accounts and start video calling. WhatsApp calling is encrypted from end-to-end so anyone having concerns that Facebook may peep into their content for advertising purposes has been taken care of by Whatsapp’s encryption. Some people are going to criticize this idea though, considering the lack of trust on Facebook connected with camera and mic.
This device resembles a think Microsoft Kinect which uses Facebook’s Smart Camera Technology for panning and zooming when people move from one place to another. This feature is particularly useful for kids, who are always moving around and can’t follow the frame during a video call, as Facebook executives mentioned to the reporters at a product demo in San Francisco.
The camera and mic can be disabled upon a tap or just slide a cover of the device at the front. Similar to how smart speakers work, Facebook too audits a large part of the content through human evaluators in order to develop their services. However, you can always opt out of this record feature and change the settings of your Facebook app. In short, you can upgrade your tv with the top-of-the-line Spectrum TV, but with the portal TV being the cherry on top making mobility as smooth as never imagined before.
How To Work The Device?
Once you are ready, you have to say “Hey Portal” to alert the device and request it to call someone within your network. As soon as the call connects, you are free to apply effects from augmented reality to your voice and/or face as you like. This feature is then also incorporated into the “Story Telling” feature which allows you to narrate children’s books. Portal TV also comes with the feature of bringing picture-in-picture which allows you to keep watching your favorite show/sports while having a conversation with your family or friend on a video call.
Great news for those who do not have Showtime, Amazon Prime Video, CBS All Access, and any other stream services already – Portal TV gets you access to all the mentioned channels. If you are enjoying these services already through Spectrum channels, video gaming consoles, set-top boxes, or streaming sticks, this may not be as exciting for them but they have an alternate option now.
Anyone who loves to chat with their families or friends through video, they are definitely doing to have a look at Portal TV for sure. The camera takes incredible frames and tracks the shots which are quite impressive. Now the video calling via TV screens will enable families to have a live chat sitting from their living room in one frame – something a desktop computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone can never beat.
Facebook bringing hardware products to the market may raise some privacy concerns again. However, the potential threat for Facebook would be its competitors – Amazon, Apple, and Google who have already occupied their space in people’s houses along with their installation-based products.
Nevertheless, any of the aforementioned competitors has not launched anything similar to Portal TV yet: TV with a camera that lets you video call, anyone. As of now, we cannot predict its success scale, however, we would really want it to compete with its rivals as they are already ahead with their voice integrated products.
The bottom line:
Portal TV is something unique on its own by enabling video calling on a bigger screen, it is going to initiate its hardware products launch. Google, Apple, and Amazon are already ruling the masses with their voice-integrated devices in the market – the video calling domain relatively still has room for experimentation and growth. Interestingly, now we can use the Facebook Watch feature along with a friend or family member with the picture-in-picture mode.
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