Facebook Portal smart screen to launch amid concerns over privacy

The Guardian 

Facebook wants to be invited into your living room. The company has revealed details about its Amazon Echo competitor, a voice-controlled, webcam-equipped smart screen named Portal. Arriving in the US in November, Facebook Portal is a $199 (£152) 10-inch screen, with two speakers and a high-quality webcam attached, which the company hopes users will put in their living rooms and kitchens and use to launch video chats with friends and loved ones. The device, which also comes in a larger model, Portal, for $349, can play music from Spotify, videos from Facebook Watch, and act as a photo frame when not in use. It is controlled using voice commands, although Facebook has eschewed the personal approach of competitors such as Apple's Siri and Amazon's Alexa in favour of a more disembodied presence: users initiate instructions with: "Hey Portal."