Facebook’s ‘Portal’ Smart Display Reportedly Launching This May for $499

Posted on January 9, 2018 by Mehedi Hassan in Social, Hardware with 8 Comments

Facebook is reportedly getting ready to launch its smart display, called the Portal, this May. The company was rumoured to be working on its smart display last year, previously referred to as Aloha internally. The smart display is being built by Facebook’s Building 8 team which is also working on a range of other hardware products, reports Cheddar.

Facebook’s Portal will focus mostly on its communication features — that is to offer video and audio calls, possibly through Facebook Messenger. The device is expected to feature support for Netflix, and Spotify, too. When we first heard about the product last year, it was rumoured to be sporting a ridiculous 15-inch display. Whether the final version of the device will come with a 15-inch display is unknown, but it is expected to cost way more than other smart displays, coming in at a whopping $499. That’s quite expensive when compared to the Amazon Echo Show or the new Google Assistant-powered smart displays, and Facebook will have to do something unique to justify that price.

What is quite interesting is the fact that Facebook killed its M smart assistant just yesterday. The company said it will use the tech behind M on other Facebook products, so it’s possible we will see a return of the smart assistant on its Portal smart display when it launches this May at the company’s F8 developer conference.

Facebook’s Portal shouldn’t be too different in terms of functionality when compared to all the other smart displays in the market. But whether you really want to put a Facebook product that’s listening to you all the time is obviously the big question. For Facebook, consumer trust will play a crucial role in the success of Portal, but right now, the company has a lot of work to do in order to gain back the trust from consumers — especially with all the recent controversies and privacy concerns surrounding the US Presidential Election.

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Comments (8)

8 responses to “Facebook’s ‘Portal’ Smart Display Reportedly Launching This May for $499”

  1. Chris_Kez

    I try hard to not preemptively dump on product announcements, so I won't do it here. Keep in mind Zuck has said the goal is to change behavior, not make a profit. Anyone want to try to sell me on a compelling success story for this product, perhaps at a lower price point? Does Facebook have surprisingly positive metrics on video chat? Are they looking at something else?

  2. Wizzwith

    Wow, this is just getting ridiculous.  Do these companies really think people want a separate hardware device for every company's services now?  A Facebook gizmo to access FB, an Amazon gadget to access Amazon, a Google thingy to access Google.  Imagine... a general computing device that could do all that!  Wouldn't that be novel!?

  3. Bats

    What privacy concerns about the US Presidential election? The fact that Obama evesdropped on Trump? Hillary's emails? That wasn't a privacy concern, that was just dumb, since she wasn't supposed to have a private server in the first place. 

  4. Tony Barrett

    ...and the point of this 'Portal' product is exactly what? Maybe FB should just concentrate on fixing their social network, primarily so we don't have a planet full of low confidence, anxiety driven people who've lost the ability to socially interact. FB is just sucking the life out of people who now believe they can't exist without it.

  5. Stooks

    Anyone, as in anyone that buys this is a complete moron.

    Egobook more responsible than anyone for the outcome of the recent presidential election in the US.