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Portal could help Facebook stop users from flocking to rival chat and video apps on other speakers and give it a new, wholly controlled environment to sell ads. The cameras are intelligent, meaning they pan and zoom, following people around the room as necessary.

Do you plan on picking up a new Portal?

However, to address potential security concerns about Portal (aside from the general rising distrust of Facebook), Facebook says the Portal's microphones and camera feature an option that will "physically" disconnect those components, and the company has installed an indicator light that glows red so you know they're off. The Portal does have a few apps, including Facebook Watch for video, and Spotify and Pandora for music. Facebook promises that Portal "follows the action" and "keeps everyone in frame" but - seemingly acknowledging that people won't trust its claim that the devices are "private by design" and that the mic and camera can be disabled with a single tap - a physical camera cover is included.

The social media giant's new "video communication" devices are called the Portal and Portal+, and feature widescreen displays, hands-free voice control and AI-powered cameras and sound.

First going on sale in the United States in November, Portal will come with a 10in display for video calls, or a 15in display on the Portal+. The larger Portal+ has an HD 15.6-inch screen that can swivel between vertical and horizontal views. It looks like a really great way to video chat in very high quality on a screen that your older relatives can actually see.

Just before the hack, a study from first-party data firm Jebbit found that in the United States alone, Facebook was ranked as he least-trusted company for users in terms of handing over their personal data in exchange for relevant services. What about their privacy problems?

We've reached out to Facebook to find out about global availability and will update with any new information.

Portal is also linked with Facebook, and is able to provide birthday reminders, notify you when close friends are available to connect, and display your photos and videos.

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Portal lets users place Facebook's augmented reality camera effects, like those found in Instagram, over their faces during video calls.

Another important aspect of the Portal is privacy and security.

The Portal Plus device can also swivel into vertical orientation, similar to how people are used to viewing and video-calling through their phones.

Facebook has just announced that its long-awaited video chat devices Portal and Portal+ are now available to preorder in the USA, with shipping due to commence in November.

Portal is Facebook's answer to the Amazon Echo Show. Camargo told Cheddar that the devices' success will be measured internally by how much "engagement" they create with Facebook's video calling and other services.

Portal cost the same as Google Screen, but is more expensive than Amazon Show.

Portal home comes for $199 (approximately Dh730) and Portal+ will cost $349 (approximately Dh1,281). The device, which will be available for pre-order in the United States, is created to allow users to make video calls at home without having to stand immediately in front of the screen or hold a phone at arm's length.

The Portal is available for preorder online and will arrive in stores in November.


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