It will also show you photos and videos from your Facebook library.
The Portal comes in two variants. The 10.1-inch display has a resolution of 1280x800 and has 10W dual speakers. The larger Portal+ has an HD 15.6-inch screen that can swivel between vertical and horizontal views.
Arriving in the USA in November, Facebook Portal is a $199 (£152) 10-inch screen, with two speakers and a high-quality webcam attached, which the company hopes users will put in their living rooms and kitchens and use to launch video chats with friends and loved ones. Lastly, Portal only sends those voice commands to Facebook servers which are said after the "Hey Portal" keyword. A camera cover can be used to hide the camera away, and there's also a way to prevent video and sound recording. In addition, video calls on Portal are encrypted, so your calls are always secure. But the company chose to delay the launch by six months due to the unfolding Cambridge Analytica scandal, amid concerns that it was the wrong time to ask users to trust Facebook with more personal information.
But didn't Facebook just get hacked?
"It´s been a big shift for the company", Facebook´s vice president of consumer hardware Andrew Bosworth told AFP before the launch of "Portal". Portal includes no facial recognition technology, a built-in physical shutter for the camera, the camera and microphone can be disabled with the tap of a button, and even the camera-tracking feature runs entirely on-device.
The $199 Portal and $399 Portal+ are only available for pre-order in the USA and will begin shipping in November. Portal will set you back $199 while Portal Plus will cost $349. While FB realizes that its reputation precedes it, it's worth noting that a simple update to its terms and agreements could change practically everything.
And Facebook seems to be putting privacy front and center for the Portal series, offering users additional features to protect their data.
Facebook doesn't listen to, view, or keep the contents of your Portal video calls. And there's a plastic privacy shield you can keep over the camera, though it looks like an afterthought. This limits how a consumer would use the product as compared to the Echo, making it less appealing from a feature-list standpoint too.
Still, Amazon has shipped 1 million of its Echo speakers with displays over the last year, according to research firm Canalys, which expects 4 million such devices across brands to ship globally next year.
During calls, it can also play music on Spotify or videos from Facebook Watch, as well as tell children stories via augmented effects app Story Time. That means Portal users can call other Portal users, as well as those with Facebook Messenger installed on their smartphones and tablets.