Last Wednesday, Meta added new features to its portal lineup of smart displays for video calling. The firm is doubling down on the remote communications solution following an internal reshuffle due to disappointing second quarter (Q2) earnings and millions lost by Meta Reality Labs, its in-house extended reality (XR) research division.
Meta is refocusing on its upcoming XR headset, Project Cambria, and the Portal device, rebranding it as a work-from-home tool.
— Reality Labs at Meta (@RealityLabs) August 10, 2022
Updates to Support Work from Home
Meta is introducing two applications which broaden the Portal’s workplace abilities.
The Menlo Park-based firm introduced Duet Display for Portal. The application connects a Meta Portal Plus or Portal Go product to a Mac computer, turning the video calling device into a second monitor.
The Duet Display application acts to broaden the Portal device as an adaptive workplace tool. Users can turn the smaller Portal Go device into a mobile second monitor to complement a Macbook.
Meta also launched the Portal Companion application for Macs, as well as its Go, Plus, and Mini Portal models, enabling more video call options.
Companion builds upon the features introduced by Duet Display. The application lets Portal users interact with tools to improve video conferencing while on a macOS computer.
The application adds screen-sharing tools, enabling users to show their MacOS screen during a Portal meeting. Companion also introduces audio controls, digital hand-raising, and link-sharing options. Meta supports Zoom, Workplace, and BlueJeans as integrated Companion applications.
Duet Display is available or free on the App Store for selected customers, including those in the US, UK, and Canada. Additionally, Companion is free via Meta’s website for UK and US customers only.
Getting the Most out of Meta Portal
Portal comes in four models — the TV, 10 Inch, Go, and Plus — all of which come with Alexa and Facebook Assitant built-in, and the product also contains Microsoft Teams support.
Portal devices contain other entertainment applications, including Spotify, Youtube, Netflix, and Amazon Prime. Additionally, the device has lite augmented reality (AR) features such as Instagram filters.
Meta is trialling Portal for Bussiness editions, which continue to establish the device as an enterprise tool. Meta packs the upcoming device with Portal Device Manager, enabling firms to manage large-scale workplace deployments of the smart device.