Facebook Portal is Facebook’s attempt to compete with Amazon and other smart home device manufacturers to create an interface for home management. This means Facebook Portal is capable of fulfilling the same tasks that other smart home devices can do, such as make a phone call.
Using Facebook Portal, you can set up group calls or even transfer the call from your Portal to your smartphone. Keep reading to learn more about how to set up a call on Facebook Portal TV and see what else this smart home device can do.
Making Calls on Facebook Portal
Facebook Portal TV allows users to make and receive video calls from their Facebook friends and any contacts they have on WhatsApp. Facebook Portal TV also allows for calls from Messenger friends if they have a Facebook account. A call is made by selecting a contact from the home Portal menu.
Once you have your Facebook Portal tablet set up, making calls on the system is as easy as pressing Contacts on the touchscreen and then selecting the contact you want to call. If you’re not sure where to find your contact in the contacts list, you can also access a search engine from the Portal home screen that will let you type them in and look them up.
Facebook Portal TV is great for making and receiving calls from your contacts, with one catch – they have to also be connected with Facebook. To add a contact on Portal, they have to have access to one of the following Facebook-based social media accounts:
Essentially, Facebook Portal allows you to have a two-way video call with contacts through Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp, but allows you to enlarge the video to a much larger size than your phone screen so you’re able to see contact details clearly.
This is a much more comfortable video call than trying to peer into a small smartphone screen. Facebook Portal also tracks your movements around the room, which means that the camera will follow you even if you don’t stand directly in front of it while you’re talking.
Facebook Portal TV comes with voice command activation. This makes it easy to call your Facebook contacts without even having to interact with the Portal’s touchscreen. To make a video call on Portal with voice commands, perform the following (Source: CNET):
- Start a video call through voice command. To get the attention of your idle Facebook Portal, call out the command, “Hey, Portal!” If the Portal recognizes your voice command, it should give an affirmation beep.
- Pick out your contact. To do this with voice command, call out the command, “Call —“ and insert the name of the contact you wish to call. Remember, this person has to be connected to Facebook through either Whatsapp or Messenger.
- At this point the Portal should place an active call with the contact you choose. You can use icons on the screen to either mute the call or video while calling.
And that’s all there is to it! Using voice commands to place calls on Portal is hands-free and simple, making it a great option for when you want to call somebody while you’re busy doing something else.
As with Facebook and Whatsapp, there are several features you can take advantage of during your video call. Here are a few of the functions that Facebook Portal gives you access to during a video call (Source: Portal):
- Call/Video Mute: Even though Facebook Portal is primarily designed as a video phone, it still gives you the option to mute calls or block out the video feed if you need a moment of privacy during your call.
- Augmented reality: One of the most popular features of Whatsapp and other Facebook-related apps is that they allow you to add fun masks and other augmented reality filters to your video call to make them more fun. This is an especially popular feature when video-calling with children, but adults can enjoy it too!
- Story Time: Another great feature for kids, Facebook Portal allows you to participate in the Story Time app with children. This app features interactive stories that you can participate in with your kids. Story Time is great for parents that want to spend a little quality time putting their kids to bed even if they’re traveling away from home.
These are only a few of the features available on Facebook Portal. Since this technology is relatively new, it’s likely that Facebook will only continue to add new and exciting features to the Portal setup in the future.
If you’re already heavily involved with Facebook and Whatsapp, Facebook Portal can be a good option for your smart home’s call station. However, you’ll need to make sure that the people you want to contact most also have access to Facebook to use the Portal effectively. Otherwise, you’ll be stuck calling them the old-fashioned way.