Facebook has created a new way to videochat with your Facebook friends. It’s not an app, nor is it some awkward virtual-reality playpen. It’s a device called Portal, and it’s meant to sit in your living room and serve as a two-way conduit for conversations with faraway friends and family.
The company that invades your life in every way is today asking you to stick a stationary camera in your living room and pay for the pleasure.
I can only assume this is meant for people who A) have no concern for the privacy what-so-ever and B) don’t own a smartphone.
The Portal is available in two varieties, a larger 1080p version for US$349 and a smaller 720p for US$199. Both have AI built-in that Facebook claims is self-contained and does not send data back to the mothership that utilising the 140 degree camera can track the caller as you get up and walk around the room, zoomed in on the user.
While Facebook are hardly the first to bring a device like this to market, Amazon’s Echos do a similar thing, they are the ones I’m least likely to allow into my living room giving their practices and continual user data issues.