Facebook announces the launch of Portal Go and Portal Plus
Facebook announces the launch of Portal Go and Portal Plus

Facebook has announced two new communications devices for the video portal, which represent the first major updates to the hardware portfolio since 2019.

The new Portal Go and Portal Plus devices are priced at $199 and $349, respectively. Both devices can be pre-ordered now and will be delivered on October 19.

The 10-inch Portal Go is a new, fabric-wrapped portable device with a separate battery. The latest version of the Portal Plus offers a more elegant design for the more expensive 14-inch portal launched three years ago.

Like other products in the series, the Portal Go is equipped with a wide-angle camera that can automatically follow the subject in focus and zoom in and out when it moves toward the middle of the screen. The device does not require a stable electrical connection and the company also describes it as a portable Bluetooth speaker that supports Spotify and Pandora.

The new Portal Plus works like its predecessor. But Facebook is getting rid of the rotating screen that can be rotated from portrait to landscape. And both devices have a physical shutter to cover the camera like the previous version.

Unlike the Amazon Echo range of smart home devices, the Portal is designed almost entirely for video calling.

The latest Android Gateway interface software update focuses more on video calls in remote work environments.

A new calendar app syncs with Outlook or Google to view upcoming meetings. Allows you to quickly switch to a call from the portal's home screen.

In addition to WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger, all portal devices now support Zoom, Webex, BlueJeans, and GoToMeeting.

Facebook introduces more portal devices

Portal Appliance for December is adding support for Microsoft Teams that can open it up to more large and medium-sized businesses.

Integration with Microsoft Teams is one example of how the company expects to increasingly use portal devices as standalone video conferencing devices for remote workers.

Over the next year, the company will launch a plan that will allow businesses to order and manage portal devices in bulk, which can be used without a Facebook account for the first time.

"We are looking forward to the future of hybrid business," the company said. The gate device is mainly intended for home use. However, since pandemic containment began last year, we have seen a significant increase in the use of business meetings.

Facebook has not provided any information on portal sales. However, according to data from research firm IDC, device shipments topped 600,000 units last year, up more than 28% from 2019.

Deliveries in the first half of this year reached nearly 400,000 units, indicating that unit sales continued to grow year-over-year.

These numbers pale in comparison to the success of the Amazon Echo line of products. Amazon announced sales of its direct competitor Echo Show through video calls.

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