Facebook is planning to debut its first-ever smartwatch next summer. The smartwatch will feature a display with two cameras that can be detached from the wrist, and it lets users take pictures and videos that can be shared on Facebook and Instagram.
Facebook’s First Smartwatch
According to The Verge, a camera on the front of the smartwatch exists for video calling, while the camera on the back can be used for taking pictures and videos when detached from the stainless steel frame.
Facebook is teaming up with other companies to develop accessories for attaching the camera hub to things like a backpack.
The whole idea is to encourage smartwatch owners to use it in ways that smartphones are used now. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg plans to create more consumer devices that circumvent Apple and Google. These two tech giants are accused of controlling Facebook’s ability to reach people online.
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The device is Facebook’s first step at releasing hardware specifically for the wrist, thus opening the competition with Apple at a time when the two companies are already battling their differences in court.
Apple has positioned itself as a protector of user privacy by limiting the data that apps like Facebook can collect. Meanwhile, Facebook has for years been swarmed with scandals regarding its handling of private user data.
That rocky relationship between the two could push Facebook to convince the public to purchase its smartwatch, especially since it plans to position the smartwatch as a fitness device with a built-in heart monitor.
Facebook is now working with the top wireless carriers in the United States to support LTE connectivity in the watch, meaning it won’t need to be connected to a phone to work and sell it in their stores.
The watch will come in black, white, and gold, and Facebook aims to have a sales volume in the low six figures, a small portion of the overall smartwatch market, as Apple sold 34 million watches in 2020 by comparison Counterpoint Research.
In the future versions of the smartwatch, Facebook is now planning to serve it as the key input device for its planned augmented reality glasses, which Zuckerberg thinks will one day be at par with mobile phones.
The company plans to use technology it acquired from CTRL-labs, a startup that has created armbands capable of controlling a computer through wrist movements.
Facebook is set to release the first version of the smartwatch in the summer of 2022, and the company is now working on the second and third generations that are set to be released in the next few years.
As for the price, rumors indicate that it might cost around $400, but the price point could change once the smartwatch is launched.
Facebook’s History with Devices
Facebook has not had a successful track record with hardware. In 2013, Facebook launched a phone with HTC, but it did not go as well as the company hoped.
The company has yet to release its sales for its Oculus VR headsets or its sales for Portal video chat device for the home, according to The Information.
However, Facebook executives stated that the sales for the Oculus Quest 2 headset had surpassed all of the previous Oculus headset combined.
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Written by Sophie Webster
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