Facebook’s long-awaited video chat device could be launched this month

Originally due to be launched in May, Facebook’s flagship video chat device Portal, could be unveiled next week as scandal after scandal forced the social media giant to delay the announcement. 

The Portal will reportedly function in a similar way to the Amazon Echo Show with more Facebook social features, and will come in two screen sizes - anonymous sources have suggested that the larger size could cost $400 (about £300, AU$550), with the smaller device priced at $300 (about £230, AU$410).

Said to use AI-supplied video chat technology, the Portal will reportedly feature Amazon Alexa integration, allowing you to play music, watch videos, and get news updates using voice commands. 

Privacy, please

The Portal is said to feature a wide-angle camera, which uses artificial intelligence to recognizes different users and follow them as they move around the room, meaning you can continue chatting over video while doing chores, or looking for something in your room.

Those worried about privacy in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal will be pleased to know that the device’s camera will feature a privacy shutter which can be activated when the Portal is not in use. 

This feature was developed at the last minute in response to reduced public trust in the company as a result of the scandals.

Whether these rumors will come to fruition will hopefully be clear by the end of the month, if Facebook really are to release the Portal in the coming weeks. 

Via Engadget

Olivia Tambini

Olivia was previously TechRadar's Senior Editor - Home Entertainment, covering everything from headphones to TVs. Based in London, she's a popular music graduate who worked in the music industry before finding her calling in journalism. She's previously been interviewed on BBC Radio 5 Live on the subject of multi-room audio, chaired panel discussions on diversity in music festival lineups, and her bylines include T3, Stereoboard, What to Watch, Top Ten Reviews, Creative Bloq, and Croco Magazine. Olivia now has a career in PR.