Facebook recently announced it’s joining the tech hardware industry, with the launch of it’s Portal device. While Amazon Echo and Google Home have a substantial stake in the market, Facebook is looking to step it up on the voice assisted devices with the addition of advanced video capabilities.
The device includes a large camera with facial recognition, which comes as no surprise considering the advances of Facebook’s Live capabilities. Facebook Live videos now have the ability to automatically tag users you are already friends with in your Live videos.
According to The News Minute, users will be able to log into their devices via the wide-angle camera, through their Facebook profiles. There will be an additional feature to identify friends and contacts of the Facebook account.
Skeptics of Facebook have been quick to point out that the company already makes a significant amount of money from selling data. This point will likely be an emotional entry barrier for the company to overcome, considering it is technically an advertising company and not a hardware company.
Whilst this has sparked ‘big brother’ fears in some, Portal aims to position the company closer to its revised mission statement to “connect people,” focusing on communication, video conferencing, and messaging rather than only being a smart assistant.
Before you sign up for your pre-order, it’s worth noting with the advanced features it will cost $499. This is a much higher price point than its competitors in the market, including the Amazon Echo Show speakers, which retail for $299.
One thing is for sure though, Facebook is placing a great emphasis on its R&D as it relates to tech – with recent hires coming from Go-pro, Apple and other tech products and their $2 billion investment in Oculus last year.
What are your thoughts? Will you be one of the first to own this new product?