Facebook is entering into the smart home device market with the launch of its Portal and Portal+ models, which will allow video communication and voice controls powered by Amazon’s Alexa.
At first, the initial focus of the Portal will be as an aid to communication, although the ability to access Facebook Watch, Spotify and Pandora will be a selling point for some.
Users will be able to make calls to and from smartphones and tablets that have Facebook Messenger installed, with up to seven participants at any one time.
Rafa Camargo, the Facebook vice president overlooking Portal, said: "Our goal is to make you feel present in the same space as the person on the other end."
Voice control technology will be activated with the command “Hey Portal”, while access to Alexa will also come as standard.
The camera and microphone will be subject to privacy and security features, such as single-tap shutdown and a built-in camera cover.