Technical / Facebook’s Portal Video Chat Device Now Supports WhatsApp Calling

The Quint : May 01, 2019, 10:50 AM

Facebook at the F8 keynote on Tuesday announced that its video chat device called Portal will now support WhatsApp video calling, in addition to calls made via Messenger. The Portal can be used for video calling other Portal users and connects people using either Facebook or its Messenger platform. Facebook’s Portals can play music through Spotify and Pandora, stream video from Facebook video platform Watch.

Portal is a device which has been available in limited countries but that’ll change now that Facebook is going to launch it internationally this year, without giving more details about it.

The Portal can be used for video calling other Portal users and connects people using either Facebook or its Messenger platform. Apart from video calling, Facebook’s Portals can play music through Spotify and Pandora, stream video from Facebook video platform Watch. Adding WhatsApp is a big development, with its video calling feature heavily used on mobile till date.The addition of WhatsApp video calling means end-to-end encryption also makes its debut for the device, now that Messenger will also offer secured chatting for users.

The Portal comes with a smart camera that is capable of tracking the user wherever they are and adjust its angle accordingly. If there are multiple people in the room, the camera switches to a wide angle mode to accommodate multiple users.

For a single user, the camera zooms into the user’s face to fit them in the frame.

With all the data controversy surrounding Facebook over the past few months, launching Portal in a new and secured avatar could ensure it has a demand from buyers in countries beyond its own shores.