The Telescreen

Despite still struggling with its biggest ever data breach fiasco, Facebook is venturing into hardware market and recently announced Facebook Portal a video chat device that runs on Facebook Messenger. From The Verge:

The Portal is designed to simplify video chatting by having a wide-angle camera capable of identifying your body, then tracking you as you move around the room. It makes for more comfortable chatting than holding a phone up to your face for extended periods of time. Facebook says the Portal is designed to create the sense that you’re sharing one big room with the people you’re talking to, and considers the chats you have on the device an augmented reality experience.

With the Portal, you don’t have to hold, aim, or direct anything. Once a chat starts up, the device’s camera will automatically find people in the room and keep them in frame. If multiple people are in a room, the camera will use a wide angle to fit them all. If there’s only one person, the camera will zoom in to focus on their face. Facebook says this feature makes video chatting more natural, since you can just talk without worrying about camera angles.


References to 1984 themes and concepts are often so rife in popular culture, movies, and entertainment, so in all fairness, Facebook Portal is not excluded.

According to Christopher Mims, “For those of you who never read it or forgot, the 1984 reference you’re looking for when talking about Facebook Portal is the “Telescreen””


Here is how the Telescreen was portrayed in 1984 movie:

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