3 Feature Updates: Facebook Portal, Google Calendar & Tiktok

Published on 08 Jul 2021

Facebook Portal has introduced a new AR feature for its portal devices. The feature will allow users to dress up as characters from Harry Potter. Google Calendar has introduced RSVP options for attending virtual events. TikTok is testing a feature similar to Cameo. More details below:

Harry Potter and Facebook Portal

Facebook Portal users will now be able to transform into characters from Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. The feature can be used by up to three users at the same time. There will be an option called curtain call in the Portal's effects tray. Users will then need to select one of three locations: the Hogwarts Great Hall, the Ministry of Magic, or the Edge of the Forbidden Forest. As the screen lights up each person on the call will be transformed into a character from the Cursed Child and will have a unique spell that is randomly assigned. Users can tap the screen or nod their heads to cast their assigned spell and enjoy the AR magic show. The AR technology will also match users' skin tone for a realistic mask. In a blog announcing the new feature, Facebook writes, "Callers can fully embody the characters thanks to real-time skin sampling that matches the 3D character to your unique skin tone before converting it into an AR mask for seamless integration.” The feature will be available on Portal-to-Portal video calls for users in the US and UK. No need to worry if you don't have a portal device, the AR masks will be available on Facebook and Instagram. Users will be able to interact with them and share photos/videos to stories.

See also: 5 Emerging Technologies in 2021

Google Calendar expands RSVP options

Remote working is here to stay. As organizations are opening up, most are embracing a hybrid work model. Hybrid workspaces seem to be the future and, Google is expanding its features and services to help users work more efficiently in this new reality. The most recent update in this regard is to Google calendar invite. The company has expanded its RSVP options. Users will now be able to say if they are going to attend an event virtually. The dropdown to RSVP in Google Calendar invites will now include three options:

  1. Yes
  2. Yes, in a meeting room
  3. Yes, joining virtually

Google hopes that the feature will allow event organizers to be better prepared. They will have a better understanding of who will be in the room and can make arrangements for people who will be joining virtually. Currently, users can only see the expanded RSVP options in Google Calendar. However, soon the feature will be added to invites in Gmail as well.

TikTok takes on Cameo

Cameo is a short video messaging startup that was launched in 2016. The service allows celebrities to send personalized video messages to fans for a price. The service gained a lot of traction during the pandemic as everyone, including celebrities were stuck at home due to lockdown restrictions. TikTok is now testing a new feature called 'shoutouts' that allows users to pay creators for custom clips. The test is currently only available to users in Turkey and Dubai.