On the evening of October 8, Beijing time, Sina Technologies News, Facebook officially launched its smart speaker "Portal" today.
Portal, divided into $199 and $349, adds a screen, a wide-angle camera, video viewing and video calling to a traditional smart speaker.
Portal is now available on Amazon, Best Buy and Facebook, and will be the first to ship to U.S. users early next month.
At present, the smart speakers from the Amazon and Google under 100 dollars are the best sellers. Through smart speakers, users can use voice commands to search, shop and listen to music.
Industry insiders say Portal will help Facebook prevent users from flowing to rivals and will give Facebook a completely new, fully controlled environment to provide advertising services.
According to data released by Adobe Analytics last month, about 32% of American consumers currently own a smart speaker and another 16% plan to buy it by the end of this year.
Analysts say Facebook's unique advantage in the smart speaker market is that Portal has a touch screen and 400 million people worldwide use Facebook Messenger's voice calling service every month.
It is reported that the wide-angle lens of Portal is a major selling point. It uses artificial intelligence technology, can identify the shape of the body, so as to achieve automatic focus, always let the user in the picture, without adjusting the angle of the device.
Facebook is launching Portal smart speakers at the moment when the company is in the vortex of public opinion. Following the 87 million users'information leak in March this year, another 50 million users' information has recently been exposed in the risk of being hacked into. These events inspired many users to abandon the idea of Facebook, and even began to delete accounts.
As a result, Facebook said today that Portal can be locked with a password and that it can also turn off its microphone and camera by pressing buttons. In addition, video and voice calls are also encrypted, and Portal does not store relevant content.
Portal runs an open source version of the Android operating system that integrates Amazon's Lexa voice assistant. The $199 Portal is equipped with a 10 inch screen, while the $349 version is equipped with 15.6 inch screens. (Li Ming)
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