Facebook unveils Portal devices for video calls and shared streaming music

Facebook is taking its next strides as a burgeoning hardware company with two new products called Portal and Portal+. The device falls in line one of Facebook’s core concepts: helping people keep in touch. Portal is a video communication device with a wide screen of 10 inches, while the Portal+ screen is 15 inches and can pivot. Both models also boast feature sets that combine a social network and a smart home device. On the social side, Portal can share content, display photos and notifications, or connect with the company’s Messenger platform. On the voice-activated hardware side, it has Alexa support built in and uses AI to offer both a smart camera and smart sound.

Portal is launching with support from several digital entertainment platforms. These integrations are meant to allow shared experiences with other people, such as listening to music together. On the audio side, Spotify Premium, Pandora, and iHeartRadio are the product’s launch partners. Facebook said it plans to add more in the future.

The Portal will retail for $199 and the Portal+ will cost $349. Both devices are currently available for pre-order in the United States, but the press release does not provide the date when the products will ship. The full details are available on the Portal website.

Anna Washenko