I’m thinking about the design team around Portal Plus at Facebook. They were likely sitting around many boardrooms and meeting rooms, writing out ideas on white boards, and thinking out the cool things that could be done with the device.
I look at the Portal and especially the Portal Plus and I see it… I see hundreds of uses for this product and how it could be deployed as a killer to many of the conferencing systems on the market today. However, Facebook has two main problems with the Portal: 1) Niche product; 2) Not enough services behind it to support other applications.
Portal seems to be an amazing product for heavy Messenger users. If I were one, or I had family who were heavy users, I’d get us both Portals. No question. However, I use Portal, WhatsApp, FaceTime, Zoom, and other services that aren’t supported by the device. So, that’s a no go.
This device could also be great as a general web conferencing camera / mic. But no, not supported. Maybe to watch media by voice? No. Livestream of school classes? Only if everyone’s on Facebook.
I applaud Facebook for working on the Portal but I’m worried without more cross-platform support, it may go the way of Snapchat Spectacles.