A new video chat device set to be unveiled by Facebook will reportedly use a camera to follow users inside their homes.

Known as “Portal,” the video communication system, according to Cheddar‘s Alex Heath, will be similar in function to other devices such as the Amazon Echo Show.

Utilizing facial recognition technology, Portal will recognize and track users as they move throughout any room where the device is situated.

While the device was originally intended to be revealed in May, numerous scandals involving Facebook’s data practices, Heath notes, resulted in the company cancelling its plans.

Although a privacy shutter will be included in Portal, reports suggest Facebook only added the feature in response to growing public concern over the tech giant.

“The shutter was recently developed in response to worsening public trust in the Facebook brand, an effect employees internally refer to as the ‘brand tax,'” Heath writes.

The product will also reportedly integrate with Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant, a device that has similarly raised privacy concerns in the past.

Facebook thus far has declined to publicly comment on details surrounding Portal, stating to Cheddar that it does not “comment on rumor and speculation.”

Portal will reportedly come in two sizes, small and large, and be priced at $300 and $400 dollars.

Developed in Facebook’s secretive “Building 8” lab, the device is believed to be slated for release as early as next week.


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