Facebook will finally make clear when exactly to launch its long-rumoured video chat device called “Portal” next week, according to financial website Cheddar. A previous report by the same publication said the company was supposed to unveil the device during its annual F8 conference in May.
However, the revelation was pushed back due to all the scandals the social network company had to face over the past few months, mostly the Cambridge Analytica fiasco and the role it played in Russia’s election interference in 2016.
Now, the social network is sure ready to introduce the devices to the public — yes, devices, because it will reportedly come in two versions. The larger of the two will set you back around $400, while the smaller one will cost approximately $300.
You’ll be able to control them using Alexa voice commands, and they’ll have the capability to play music and videos, show cooking recipes and news briefs, among other things.
Cheddar says Facebook has also implemented a new privacy feature after the company’s reputation took a nosedive. See, the devices are supposed to have AI-powered wide-angle cameras that can follow you around, so you can chat with friends and family even while you’re cleaning your room or doing something else.
Now, that camera will come with a privacy shutter: no need to tape over it when it’s not in use anymore. We’ll know if those details are true in the very near future if Facebook truly does unveil the devices before October.
When asked for comment, a Facebook spokesperson told Cheddar that the company doesn’t “comment on rumor and speculation.”
Portal represents Facebook first foray into selling its own consumer hardware outside of Oculus, the VR headset maker it acquired in 2014 for around $2 billion. Facebook designed software for a phone in partnership with HTC in 2013 that flopped.