Facebook announced today that it is bringing Netflix, Zoom, and more new capabilities to its Portal family of devices. The social networking giant says the new additions are meant to help people stay connected with their family and friends amid travel restrictions in many places.
Starting today, Netflix shows are available on Portal TV, provided you have subscribed to the streaming service. However, it's live only in countries where Portal is available, including the U.S., UK, Australia, Canada, France, Italy, New Zealand, and Spain. Netflix complements other streaming services already available on Portal such as Amazon Prime Video and Sling TV.
In addition, there's a new remote with built-in dedicated buttons to quickly launch Prime Video, Facebook Watch, and Netflix. It's set for shipping starting today with Portal TV and will be hitting store shelves in the next few weeks.
Facebook has also added support for Zoom on Portal, complete with high-fidelity sound and an artificial intelligence-powered Smart Camera to start a video call hands-free. It follows Zoom's announcement in August to bring the service to smart displays like Portal and more. With Zoom, you can call up to 25 people on Portal at the same time, though that number pales in comparison to the maximum limit of 50 users with Messenger Rooms, which arrived on Portal devices in June. The videoconferencing platform is rolling out to Portal, Portal Mini, and Portal+ in markets where Portal available.
The Story Time library is also set to add additional stories, and support for augmented reality is coming to four classic Dr. Seuss stories this fall, including Hop on Pop, Mr. Brown Can Moo! Can You?, The Foot Book, and There’s a Wocket in my Pocket!
There's also a new capability to use your voice in order to control augmented reality effects in Portal's Photo Booth. That means users can use “Hey Portal” with AR effects to create and send cards with various themes. Finally, support for Spanish has been added to the "Hey Portal" wake word, with plans to add more languages in the future. You can also select French, Spanish, Italian, and English for on-screen text.