Dan Patterson, senior producer for CNET and CBS News, talked with Micah Collins of Facebook about how Facebook Portal is now being used in small- and medium-sized businesses. The following is an edited transcript of their conversation.
Micah Collins: Portal is a product line, and we have multiple screen sizes, and one that turns your existing television into a portal itself. We call that product Portal TV. Portal TV was designed to help people connect with each other and connect with the closest people in their lives from the comfort of their home. What sets Portal hardware apart are, one, we have fairly large vivid displays but like a camera that is designed to really make it simpler, and more immersive, and natural to connect with people. So we call that our smart camera. All our portals have very wide fields of view, and we have a cameraman technology built on (artificial intelligence) AI that can keep up with users as they move around their environments, so that there isn't the normal video calling friction of like aiming phones, and tilting tablets and that sort of thing.
And getting some of that calling friction out of the way really helps people focus on the conversation instead of the technology they're using. And so the net effect is, people feel like their calls are more rewarding, and simpler, and more enjoyable with the people-connection side. And this is what it's all been about for Facebook through the years is really just connecting people and making that as simple as possible. And with Portal, we're able to do that between family and friends. And yeah, it's been an incredible time.
Recently, of course, as we all are living through the context of