CallGenie vs. Discontinued Meta (formerly Facebook) Portal TV: A Detailed Guide

The landscape of video communication technology has seen significant shifts in recent years, with devices such as Meta's Portal TV (originally launched as the Facebook Portal TV) enhancing the video calling experience before being discontinued. Now Smart Life Solutions' CallGenie appliance steps in with its user centric design to serve specific niches, particularly the elderly, disabled, and those with conditions like dementia. This article will explore the evolution of these devices and how CallGenie emerges as a potential alternative.

Overview and Discontinuation of Facebook Portal TV

Facebook's Portal TV was an innovative product that transformed televisions into smart video calling screens. It featured a smart camera that could pan and zoom with the user;'s movement during calls, integrating with services like WhatsApp and Messenger, and offered with voice control using Alexa. However, Meta has discontinued the Portal TV, shifting the market focus towards other communication technologies.

Key Features of CallGenie

CallGenie is designed with simplicity and accessibility at its core, making it an ideal solution for those who may find modern technology interfaces overwhelming, particularly the elderly, those with disabilities, or dementia. It includes features tailored for users with additional needs:

  • Auto-Answering Capability Allows calls from pre-determined contacts to connect automatically, ideal for users who cannot physically answer calls.
  • No End User Interaction Required: No additional remote control to be mastered
  • Real-Time Subtitles: Supports individuals with hearing impairments, ensuring clear communication.
  • No Monthly Fees: Offers a cost-effective communication solution without recurring costs.

CallGenie as a Replacement for Facebook Portal TV

With Facebook Portal TV no longer available, CallGenie presents itself as a compelling alternative for certain user groups:

  • Targeted User-Friendly Design: Focused on the elderly and disabled, CallGenie’s design prioritises ease of use and accessibility, which are not always front and centre in more general purpose devices.
  • Specialised Features: The unique features of CallGenie cater specifically to the challenges these users face, such as mobility limitations and sensory impairments, providing them with a more suitable communication tool.
  • Economic Advantage: Without the burden of monthly fees and designed for long-term usability, CallGenie is a practical choice for users and caregivers seeking reliable solutions.

Impact on the Market

The discontinuation of Facebook Portal TV reflects a broader trend in technology products where companies must continuously adapt to changing consumer needs and preferences. CallGenie’s emphasis on accessibility and affordability positions it well in a market increasingly focused on inclusivity and practicality.


While Facebook Portal TV provided broad functionalities for a general audience, its discontinuation opens the door for specialised products like CallGenie. By focusing on accessibility and user-friendliness, CallGenie not only serves as a replacement for the Facebook Portal TV, but also underscores the importance of designing technology that accommodates all users. As the market evolves, the demand for inclusive and adaptive technology solutions like CallGenie is expected to grow, highlighting the critical need for innovation in assistive technologies.

CallGenie : Key Features

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    Connects to the Television

    CallGenie connects to the user's television, typically the largest screen in a person's home. Why would you introduce another smaller screen into their living environment, when the television is already there in front of them?

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    Safe & Secure

    CallGenie only answers incoming video calls from known contacts. Just add family and friends to the contacts list to enable them to connect.

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    Auto-Answering Video Calls

    CallGenie is waiting for loved ones to call. It automatically turns on the television, if it's on standby, and switches the input to the incoming video call. At the end of the call, CallGenie returns the television to its original state.

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    Real-Time Subtitles

    With age might come challenges related to hearing. CallGenie addresses this by offering real-time subtitles, ensuring that every word spoken by loved ones can be read from the screen. The size of the text can be configured to suit the eye sight of the user.

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    One-off Cost – No Monthly Fees

    No monthly fees to pay. Just connect CallGenie to the user's broadband and plug it into their television. Set up is done remotely via a video call, to make sure everything works perfectly.

    12 months of full support and warranty included.

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    Our Guarantee

    We understand the importance of making sure that CallGenie works seamlessly with the user's television. The television must go back to its original state after a call, and when the user turns on the television from standby there should be no surprises. In the very rare case that we can't get CallGenie to work seamlessly, we will give you a full refund of the purchase price.

CallGenie : How Does It Work?

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    Getting Set-up

    Plug in the box, connect it to Wi-Fi and to the television. That just leaves the final configuration, which is done remotely over a video call with us.

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    Make a Call

    Make a video call using Skype on either your smartphone, tablet or computer.

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    Accept the Call

    CallGenie will turn on the television (if needed), and switch automatically to the input for the video call. All of this without your loved one needing to do anything.

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    Enjoy Your Call

    Enjoy having a catch up with your loved one on the big screen. It'll feel like you're in the same room together.

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    Finish Your Call

    Hang up the call, when you have finished, and CallGenie will automatically switch back to the programme they were watching (and turn the off television, if it was off before the call).

About CallGenie

CallGenie started as a project in early 2017 to provide a way for Graham, the founder of Smart Life Solutions, to make Skype video calls to his elderly mother, who suffered with dementia and mobility issues.

Graham’s mother wasn’t accustomed to using technology to communicate, which is the case with many elderly people. She could use a phone and the remote control for her television. However, mobile phones and tablets were left in drawers, with no charge. Graham, therefore, decided to draw on his IT background. He was convinced that in amongst the extensive emerging smart home technologies there would be a solution.

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