Facebook’s "Portal video" chat device could launch next week


Social media giant Facebook is reportedly set to announce its own video chat device called Portal next week.

The device was thought to be a direct rival of the Amazon Echo and Google Home. There's a new version of the Echo Show on the way, along with a wireless subwoofer and smart plug.

Amazon's Echo Sub will augment your network of Alexa-powered speakers with 100W of deep bass with its 6-inch woofer while bringing wireless connectivity into the mix.

Apart from the privacy shutter, we have yet to learn what assurances the Facebook Portal has to offset the privacy concerns.

The Echo Plus has also been given the new curved and fabric design finish, and it also now contains a temperature sensor for the first time. As the second generation Echo Show has just launched at $229.99, Facebook really needs to bring some impressive features to justify the premium. We want this in India! The AmazonBasics Microwave costs $59.99 (about £45) and comes with quick-cook voice presets, allowing you to verbally command it to cook for you. Obviously, Alexa will take care of this activity. Give a command like "one minute" to get the timer going. Those with a dash-mounted smartphone can see the directions displayed as well as hear verbal directions, similar to Global Positioning System devices. The equaliser feature lets you adjust the bass, mid-range, and treble of the pairing simply by using your voice. Customers will be able to say "Alexa, answer the front door" to see and talk to whoever is at the door. Those plans didn't say hello to the reality, and the launch got pushed.

Amazon Echo Auto brings Alexa to your old car
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Currently, the Alexa assistant is not available in cars through a dedicated device.

Rs 12,999. The Echo devices are available for pre-order on Amazon.in. Echo Dot and Echo Plus will start shipping from next month while the Echo Sub will be available later this year.

There's also a new Ring security camera. It does not require a smart home hub.

The same process can be followed on the Amazon Echo range of speakers. There's no speaker built-in, but it can interact with a local Alexa speaker; there's even an Alexa wall clock. The Echo Input has been priced $35. The pancake-looking device includes far-field microphones and it delivers Alexa to an audio set-up that's already in your home.

Still, the market for voice-activated speakers pales in comparison with smartphones, where most people interact, according to Strategy Analytics. Not just kids, either: millennials and baby boomers apparently too spur their parents to buy smart home tech, reports Digital Trends.

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