Facebook may always be at the forefront when it comes to issues relating to privacy or security though that isn’t stopping the company from introducing new Portal models for online video chatting. The vice president of AR/VR at Facebook, Andrew Bosworth revealed the above in an interview during Code Conference in Scottsdale, Arizona, besides also confirming the new Portal devices would be landing this fall itself.
Bosworth also added it is not just one or a couple of new Portal devices that are forthcoming but there likely are several of those lined up for launch later this year. Those are going to be in different sizes and shapes though Bosworth declined to reveal the exact details just yet.
The first generation Portal devices launched late last year allowed hands-free operation and are designed almost entirely for video chatting. The range comprised of two devices, Portal and Portal Plus and are powered by the Amazon Alexa smart digital assistant. Facebook also included it’s own ‘Hey Portal’ voice calling feature as well.
Also, the difference between the Portal and Portal Plus happens to be largely about the size. While the Portal offered a 720p 10.1-inch display, the same went up to 15.6-inch 1080p display on the Portal Plus. On the price front, the Portal comes for $199 while it’s Plus version commands a price tag of $349.
Now with the company revealing intentions of launching several models of Portal in various shapes, it is going to be interesting to see how they end up looking like. Also, a model line-up of different sizes will no doubt come in a wider price bracket, which is going to allow Facebook to target a larger user base with these devices.
Bosworth though isn’t revealing how many Portal devices they have managed to sell so far. This could be crucial given all the allegations of hacks and breaches the company ends up facing on a regular basis. That had led many to be sceptical of a video chatting device with an integrated camera and mic to be a huge privacy risk.
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Facebook has already been claiming a higher level of vigilance against chances of data hacks though it could be some time to find out if the company is genuinely sticking to that. Till then, the company’s marketing heads will no doubt have a tough time selling new Portals, no matter what shapes they come in.