Facebook is planning to launch a new video chat device, called Portal, later this week. Similar to Amazon Echo Show, the home chat speaker will support Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant, and it will have a screen for users to watch videos or to do video chats with friends.
According to media reports, Portal will feature a wide-angle video camera that uses artificial intelligence to identify people and follow them around the room. While Facebook wants to keep communicators in the frame if they walk in the room while video chatting, the social media giant has also put a shutter over the camera for privacy.
The home speaker was originally planned to launched at F8 in May, but the company delayed launch following aftermath of Cambridge Analytica scandal.
The company recently rolled out its YouTube competitor “Watch" that acts as a platform for shows on Facebook and will work on mobile, on desktop and laptop, and in Facebook’s TV apps. The personalised platform helps you discover new shows that are organised around what your friends and communities are watching. Shows are made up of episodes — live or recorded — and follow a theme or storyline. To help you keep up with the shows you follow, Watch has a Watchlist so you never miss out on the latest episodes.
Users can find the latest videos spanning entertainment, sports, news and more — all in their personalised Watch feed. At the top of your Watch feed you’ll see your Watchlist, a collection of recent videos from Pages you follow. You can also customise this section by following more Pages or removing Pages from your follow list within Watch.
If you see a video in News Feed but don’t have time to watch it right away, you can save it to watch later in Watch.