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Facebook is launching a Video Conferencing device named Portal. The Facebook Portal will not only connect you with your friends but also work as a Voice Assistant.
First of all, you can give Voice Commands to Facebook Portal. For example, just call out the name of your friend who you want to call and Facebook Portal will place a quick call.
What is a Hands-Free experience of Video Conferencing? Let’s think about two situations. First, suppose you are Video Conferencing with your Mother while you are also working in the kitchen. You cannot cook standing still, can you? You might have to make a lot of movements, sometimes step out of the Video Frame. Your mother will be hearing your voice but can’t see you on the screen. This kills the entire video conferencing experience although this cannot be attributed to the video conferencing application. But does it mean, the video conferencing application has nothing to do in order to solve the issue? Why not lock an object on the screen! Once the application tells the device’s camera which objects to lock and follow their movement, we can have the best Hands-Free experience.
Secondly, think about a situation where you are talking with your boss, and your colleague walks in who is also supposed to attend the meeting. He sits right beside you, but while you were setting up the camera you forgot to include that part of the room as you were not sure if your colleague would show up for the meeting at all. So what now? Should you get up and adjust the camera? How about relying completely on your device’s camera to widen its frame as new people walk in the room!
Facebook Portal has a Smart Camera and a Voice-Enhancing Microphone. This will enable Facebook Portal to deliver high-quality video and audio. But this gives birth to an equally important concern over user privacy. Can you sleep at night knowing a device is sitting in your living room listening to every word you say and recording everything you do?
But here is the solution to this problem, you can completely cover the camera of Facebook Portal. Similarly, you can completely disable the Microphone with a single tap.
Let’s be honest, if you have to buy a $200 device for the sole purpose of video conferencing, would you buy it? Maybe yes, maybe not. But you will always want some marginal benefits from such a device. Yes, a Smart Video Conferencing Device would make your life better. But what else can you use it for?
You can use Facebook Portal as your Personal Assistant as well. Portal comes with Alexa installed. You can activate Portal as you do it on every other device. Just say ‘Hey Portal’ to activate its voice assistant mode.
On the other hand, you can use Facebook Portal to play a slideshow of all your pictures on Facebook. And you will get notifications from Facebook through Portal as well.
What are your thoughts on a completely Hands-Free, Voice Enabled video Conferencing device? Would you buy a product from Facebook knowing how careless they have been with user Information? Share your thoughts in the comments section below and make sure you come back for more.
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