Facebook Is Secretly Developing a Smartwatch: What We Know So Far

After Oculus and Portal, Facebook plans to introduce even more hardware, most notably a smartwatch.

Though there’s no official word from the company itself, reports suggest that the Facebook smartwatch is already in the development phase. So let’s find out more about its features and the news surrounding this new wearable.

Notable Features of the Rumored Facebook Smartwatch

Though Facebook is yet to announce the features of its smartwatch, news reports have already suggested how it could look. The smartwatch will have a steel frame and be powered by the open-source Android operating system. The smartwatch will be available in black, white, and gold colors.

A Dual-Camera System

The Facebook smartwatch will likely have two cameras. The front camera allows users to make video calls. While the other camera, on the back, can be detached from the steel frame and used for capturing images and videos. The rear 1080p camera with autofocus allows you to capture high-quality images.

Integration with Facebook Apps

As one would expect, you can share the pictures and videos captured using this smartwatch on Instagram and other Facebook apps.

Since it's intended as a communication device, you'll also be able to apps like Messenger and WhatsApp.

LTE Connectivity

Facebook wants its watch to work without the need of pairing it with any smartphone. To that end, Facebook is partnering up with US-based wireless service providers to provide LTE connectivity to its new smartwatch. That partnership means that you’d be able to buy the watch from a wireless carrier's store.

Fitness Tracking

Facebook aims to add fitness tracking features to its watch in a bid to attract fitness enthusiasts. This means that it’ll have a heart rate monitor and other health features.

Rumors also suggest that the watch allows integration with apps and devices from fitness companies like Peloton. As the device will have LTE connectivity, you would be able to leave your phone behind when working out or jogging.

Price, Launch Date, and News

As mentioned above, Facebook remains tight-lipped about its smartwatch. But there’ve been reports about the price and the launch date of the device.

Facebook plans to release the initial version of its wearable device in mid-2022. The expected price is around $400. But that could change.

With thousands of employees working for its augmented and virtual reality projects, Facebook's ambitions in the field of AR are well known. Reports also suggest that Facebook has already started working on future models of the watch, expected to be released in 2023.

These next-gen watches will have AR features. CTRL-Lab, a startup acquired by Facebook, has been working to control computers using wrist movements. So the company might use its smartwatch as an input device for the AR glasses it has released with Ray-Ban.

Competition and Concerns

With Apple having sold more than 34 million smartwatches last year (more than the Swiss watch industry), it’s easy to understand why Facebook is striving to get its product into the market. Apple and Samsung have already taken the control of the smartwatch market, and Facebook will have to face tough competition.

One of the key reasons Apple watches have done so well is their privacy protection policies. Wearables collect and store your personal and health information, and this is where privacy greatly matters. Considering Facebook's record of user data handling, it’s interesting to see if Facebook can convince people to buy its new smartwatch.

Related: Should You Trust Facebook With Oculus Quest 2 Privacy?

Facebook Is Getting More Into the Hardware Race

It’s evident that Facebook is striving hard to develop its devices in a bid to reduce its reliance on other tech giants, namely Apple and Google.

But with the launch of the Facebook smartwatch, the company is opening another battlefront with Apple. Only time will tell if Facebook would be able to establish its place in the Apple-dominated smartwatch market. Until the Facebook smartwatch is released, you can already get your hands on a few pretty good smartwatches.

Author: Syed Hammad Mahmood

Source: Syed Hammad Mahmood.” Facebook Is Secretly Developing a Smartwatch: What We Know So Far”. Retrieved From https://www.makeuseof.com/facebook-smartwatch-what-we-know-so-far/

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