Facebook has decided to provide its service in a new way to vast number of users all around the world and this time the company introduced Facebook Portal and Portal+, video communication devices that are designed to make video calls and connection between people in a convenient way. Facebook Portal and Facebook Portal+ are different in size and design however both of them can be used on video chatting in the way that people would find the person who they are talking to so close and real like they are in the same room. With Portal you can only video call with your friends and connections on Facebook and Messenger.
How does Facebook Portal smart camera work?
Facebook Portal is powered by Artificial Intelligent. So users can simply place the device somewhere and move around while the smart camera would follow them during a holding video call. The camera also would automatically zoom or pan if you move away from the device. Once a video call get start, the smart camera will search and find people to place them in the call frame. If there are multiple people, the camera will make sure to place them all in the frame it also will zoom in to focus the face if there is one person in the room.
How does Facebook Portal smart sound work?
It happens when you are talking to someone in a place that they are lots of noises and it causes some difficulties in hearing the voice over the video call, Portal has already taught about it. Smart sound ability of the device would automatically minimize background noise and enhancing the voice of the person on the call so you can hear the crystal clear and you do not have to be worry about the noises.
Use Facebook Messenger on Facebook Portal
Facebook Messenger is one of the most popular social media platform that user can make video call through the app. Using Portal device you can make video calls with your Messenger friends even if they do not use the Portal device. Facebook Portal supports group calls of up to seven people at the same time so you also can enjoy experiencing group video call in innovative way.
How does Facebook Portal voice control work?
Portal device supports voice commands by the mean you can simply say “Hey Portal” and then ask the device to call a contact. Portal also has Amazon Alexa available by default which means that you can ask it to check the weather, control smart home devices, etc.
Facebook Portal Home and Away feature
Portal has provided its users with a useful feature which is optional to enable or disable. Using Home and Away on your Portal device, Portal would use your mobile phone and the device’s location to know when you are at home and you can go through calls so Portal would only ring when you are at home. However you still get calls on Messenger even if you are not home. The default state of the feature is off and you can turn it on through the device if you wish.
How to enable it?
- From the Portal home screen, swipe left, and tap on Settings.
- Tap on Incoming Call Settings.
- Choose Only When You’re Home.
- Then, go to your phone and confirm that you want to use the Home and Away feature in the appeared alert.
If you do so now on the calls would automatically just go through your phone and not your Portal when you are not home.
Facebook Portal Story Time feature
Story Time feature will simply let you tell a story using story filters on Portal video calls. In order to get started, tap the Story Time icon on the bottom of your screen and you will have variety of choices and you can tap on the story you like. The person on the other side of the video call will see the filters around you and words of stories are shown to you to read them. These seems amazing for kids.
How safe and private Facebook Portal is?
You might know that no device that is connected to internet can be stated as totally safe. However Facebook has tried to consider user’s privacy in this device as much as possible. Like Skype and other video calling platforms video call on Portal are encrypted for sure and the company has stated that the company would not view the calls and contents at all and of course they are not going to keep a record of them. Facebook Portal smart camera and smart sound technology works directly on device and not on Facebook servers.
Considering Facebook is recently using facial recognition on its network but Portal camera does not use it in order to protect user’s privacy. You can always delete the call and voice history on the device and also you always can set a password to limit the access to your Portal device. And finally you can completely disable the camera and microphone or cover the camera whenever you wish so or while you are not using the device.
However Facebook admits that they may keep the information of how often calls are made or how long they are and also logs of voice commands on the device.
How can Facebook Portal be used rather than video calls?
There are some staffs that you can go through them while you are not using the device for making calls. You can view your photos from your Facebook photo albums, or review and check birthday reminders or the weather. It is possible also to play music from Spotify or connect with Bluetooth devices and use the speaker.
Frequent questions and answers
You can also add your friends as favorites on the home screen for quick access.
With Portal, you can only call, and be called by, your connections on Facebook and Messenger.
The answer is No. News Feed is not available on Portal.
Portal can only have certain information from your friends’ Facebook profiles, like birthday and photos your friends are tagged in.
You can delete your Portal’s voice history in your Facebook Activity Log.
Facebook does not keep a copy of your call’s content and by the ways calls on Portal are encrypted to increase security.
Yes you can. There is a Camera and Microphone Off button on top of Portal that you can use it to turn the camera and microphone off whenever you want.
Not necessarily. As long as your friends have Facebook’s Messenger app or use the Messenger on web, they can connect with you on Portal even if they do not have the device.
As soon as you set up your device all your Facebook friends and Messenger contacts would be listed in your Portal device and you can easily tap on their icon to start making video calls.
Yes you can make group calls with up to 7 people on Portal device.
While you are on a Portal video call, you can try on AR masks like SnapChat or Messenger camera.
If you refuse to join Facebook you cannot use Portal as well.
Yes you can set that people can only call your Portal when you’re at home with the Home and Away feature that connects your phone to get your location. You can enable the feature through the Portal device.
You can set up an alert for when one of your friends becomes active on Messenger or Facebook. Tap the person’s icon and from the “i” icon enable Activity Notification.
Yes you can create accounts on Portal for your family members or friends through the Settings > Accounts > Add an Account. Every account on the Portal can access its contacts and friends.