It's never been easier to video chat with someone today -- you can thank the rise of ubiquitous webcams, front-facing mobile cameras and social networks for that. But the act of having a video conversation with someone is still a pain. You have to coordinate with whoever you want to call, make sure you're using a compatible service, and if you're chatting from your phone, you'll also be stuck holding it up for the entire conversation. Clearly, there's still plenty of room for improvement.
So, for the past two years, Facebook has been working on a solution, and it's not at all what you'd expect. The company is unveiling two smart displays, the Portal ($199) and Portal+ ($349), which are focused on video chatting. They have AI-powered cameras to track you as you move around the room, large screens to easily see who you're talking to, an array of four microphones (plus more AI smarts) to capture everything you're saying and decent speakers, so the conversation is always clear.