Amazon and Facebook sitting in a tree,
OK, so here’s something I wasn’t expecting to see today. Facebook’s latest piece of hardware is a set-top box with a 12MP video camera that’s designed for video-chats.
This is nothing new, their Portal product originally announced last year did exactly this with a cheap screen built into it as well. The difference here is that it’s on your TV and even bigger its partnered up with Amazon on a number of fronts.
To begin with there’s Amazon Alexa. Facebook have integrated Amazon’s virtual assistant (and who hasn’t at this point) to bring Alexa to your TV. On top of that the Portal TV acts as a cut down Firecube TV or Roku, providing access to Amazon Prime as well as a slew of other apps & services.
The Portal TV will allow you to have video calls via either of Facebook’s messaging services, Messenger & WhatsApp. It includes an integrated camera cover for the privacy conscious as well as a remote to control the Portal TV from your couch.
Available Nov 5th the Portal TV is available for pre-order now but does NOT ship outside of the US.