Meta, the new rebranded entity of Facebook's parent company, seems dead serious in its bid to expand its digital reach.
Based on a leaked image revealed in a Bloomberg report, Meta apparently is developing a smartwatch that could pass as your nifty Apple Watch, having a similar large display and frame but could have more revolutionary features. First of all, the watch in the image shows a notch, which could imply that it may feature a front-facing camera. The watch in the photo is turned off, but this tiny bead that seems to be a camera eye is quite prominent.
EXCLUSIVE: Leaked photos show Meta, the company formerly known as Facebook, is developing a smartwatch to compete with Apple https://t.co/8QwaAN8e1X— Bloomberg (@business) October 28, 2021
The photo was discovered inside the social media giant's app for its Ray-Ban Stories smart glasses, the Bloomberg report noted. The watch, coded "Milan," may not be the exact version that prospective owners will get to see, but is a major confirmation about Facebook's plans reported earlier.
Meta Smartwatch Reportedly Features Two Cameras, Health-Tracking Features
In June, The Verge reported about Facebook planning its first smartwatch that will feature two cameras and a heart rate monitor. A second, detachable camera will add to its main front-facing camera, which may be used for video calls and is expected to offer a superbly rich 1080p resolution. In addition to its heart rate monitors, the LTE-supported watch will also carry health, fitness, and messaging features, The Information noted in a report.
The original plan was for Facebook to unveil the smartphone in the summer of next year, but the Bloomberg report indicated that a timeline for its release has yet to be established.
Currently, the smartwatch market is loaded with offerings from tech giants, such as Apple, Samsung, and Google, which acquired Fitbit earlier this year. But the Meta smartwatch is intended to more closely mimic the conventional smartphone.
Meta could face branding issues with this new watch, given that a "MetaWatch" has existed since 2014, so it is apparent that the company might opt for another name for its planned smartwatch.
Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg made comments at the company's recent AR/VR conference Facebook Connect that included jabs at their rivals. Zuckerberg called the iOS and Android mobile operating systems as "closed platforms," while Facebook indicated that Apple's ad-tracking features are to be blamed for its failure to meet revenue targets.
Meta Smartwatch Part of Broader Metaverse Strategy
Obviously, the smartwatch is part of Meta's main metaverse business strategy that aims to expand a hardware ecosystem, which includes wearable devices such as the Ray-Ban Stories, Oculus virtual reality headsets, and Portal video chat devices. It has also initiated the augmented reality-focused Spark AR, which forms part of Meta's expanded AR market bid. It has launched the AR app Polar, a tool poised to create and share AR effects and filters, initially on Apple devices.
Even way before Facebook's parent company's transition to its new rebranded corporate entity, the social media titan had dedicated 6,000 employees to work on several AR and VR projects, and experimental ventures under the Facebook Reality Labs division.