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Facebook eyes TV takeover with Portal cam add-on

Facebook’s tentacles are reaching out beyond your small screen social media feeds to take over the largest screen in the home with Portal, as advertised in a series of promotional videos by AMV BBDO.

The smart camera add-on is shown slotting snugly on top of your television from where it can survey the living room, acting as a conduit for video calls with advanced software capable of tracking people as they cross its field of view and zooming in on people of interest.

Permitting video calls with friends and family via WhatsApp and Messenger, Facebook can even reach those who are non-Portal enabled, with functionality extending to augmented reality (AR) overlays with promotional videos showing how this can ‘bring stories to life’ with music and animation.

Boasting built-in Alexa functionality, the gadget is being touted as a one-stop box for everything from keeping tabs on the weather to searching for music and catching up with your favorite TV shows.

Mindful that its reputation is at a low ebb, Facebook emphasizes that all video calls are encrypted and that the microphone can be easily disabled at the touch of a button. A sliding privacy shutter is also built in to ensure you don’t show your pajamas off to friends.

Highlighting the interpersonal connections video chat technology can facilitate, Facebook has previously shown how Portal can bring people together through the good times and bad with ‘Share Something Real.’

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