New versions of the Facebook Portal, the social media company’s video-calling smart speaker that launched in November 2018, is all set to be coming this fall. Portal and Portal+ devices for Facebook Messenger video calls and conversations with Amazon AI assistant Alexa first came out in October 2018 with a 15- and 10-inch screens. Alongside these devices, Facebook also created the Portal unit as part of its AR/VR division to make devices for the home.
Facebook has been busy designing new variants of its Portal video chat devices since long. According to the company’s Vice President of AR/VR, Andrew “Boz” Bosworth, “Facebook plans to unveil new Portal models this fall.” Bosworth has made the announcement on stage at the Code Conference in Phoenix, where he promised the audience, “the social network is releasing “new form factors” because “there’s a whole new generation of hardware coming out.” Facebook, he said, wants “to make sure that human connection, connection between two people, is a first-party experience” on a piece of hardware for the home.”
Bosworth also suggested that Portal sales were “very good,” although he declined to provide specific numbers. That’s despite Facebook battling some major privacy scandals over the last couple of years. The company is continuing to invest in Portal “because we think there’s a whole new generation of hardware coming out,” according to Bosworth.
“Hardware is coming to the home, and we want to make sure that human connection, a connection between two people, is a first-party experience on that hardware,” Bosworth said.