Technology Facebook wants Portal to be your next office webcam
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Facebook‘s Portal video chat devices will be able to run Workplace, the company’s collaboration software, so you’ll be able to make video calls at work using the Portal’s video calling technology, Facebook announced today. Until now, Facebook has positioned Portal primarily as a way to chat with friends and family, but the new work-focused updates suggest Facebook is targeting office workers as well.
Video calls for Workplace seem as if they will work like those made from a Portal device at home, and will take advantage of Portal’s Smart Camera functionality to automatically frame the people on the call,. A marketing image from Facebook also appears to show that you can share content with the person you’re talking to, but we haven’t tested this ourselves.
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Video calls will support up to 50 participants, Facebook told VentureBeat. You can’t do a Facebook Live broadcast yet, though. That is apparently coming soon.
However, there seems to be a notable hardware omission in this rollout — at launch, you apparently can’t use Workplace on the recently-introduced Portal TV, according to VentureBeat. Portal TV plugs into a television so you can see video chats on a bigger screen — which seems like an ideal way to use Workplace.
No one should buy the Facebook Portal TV .
In over six years of testing tech, this is a first for me.I ditched my own Facebook account earlier this year after covering the social media giant's original Portal video-chat-centric smart displays last fall. Like so many other folks, I had read about Cambridge Analytica and the other ways the social media giant misused user data. But the headlines surrounding Facebook are still pretty bleak.
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