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Facebook Unveils Video Calling Devices For Home

Facebook (FB) has unveiled two Video Calling Devices for the home. The devices are available now for pre-order in the US - from Facebook at portal.facebook.com, as well as Amazon and Best Buy - and will begin shipping in November.

The devices, the $199 Portal and the $349 Portal+ with a larger, adjustable touch screen, allow customers to make video calls to their connections on Facebook or its chat app, Messenger.

Facebook said, "Portal and Portal+ are available now for pre-order in the US - from Facebook at portal.facebook.com, as well as Amazon and Best Buy - and will begin shipping in November. You can bring Portal home for $199 USD and Portal+ for $349 USD. You can also receive $100 USD off any two devices — this means a bundle of two Portal devices will be priced at $298 USD, so you can share the experience right out of the box."

The company noted that the users can call Facebook friends and connections on Messenger even if they don't have Portal. Calls can be made to and from Messenger-enabled smartphones and tablets. Portal supports group calls of up to seven people at the same time.

"Portal offers hands-free voice control. You can start a video call simply by saying "Hey Portal" and noting who you'd like to call. Portal also has Amazon Alexa built in, so you have access to a robust voice experience to ask for sports scores, check the weather, control smart home devices, order groceries, and more," Facebook said.

according to Facebook, the users can completely disable the camera and microphone with a single tap. Portal and Portal+ also come with a camera cover, so users can easily block their camera's lens at any time and still receive incoming calls and notifications, plus use voice commands.

Facebook sad, "To manage Portal access within your home, you can set a four- to 12-digit passcode to keep the screen locked. Changing the passcode requires your Facebook password."

Facebook noted that Portal also enables shared activities like listening to music together or watching some of favorite shows. It has partnered with Spotify Premium, Pandora, and iHeartRadio, as well as Facebook Watch, Food Network and Newsy — and it will add more soon.

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