Facebook might be readying to expand the horizons of its hardware ambitions big time in 2022. After delving into the world of VR headsets and later launching smart displays under the Portal brand, the company has now reportedly set its eyes on the wearable segment. As per a report by The Information, Facebook has started working on a smartwatch that the company plans to put on shelves in 2022.
Not surprisingly, Facebook’s smartwatch will be baked into its own vast social media network, allowing users to send and receive messages over Facebook’s services. Facebook’s smartwatch will reportedly add a social aspect to the fitness features by leveraging its social media platform. For example, the upcoming wearable will allow users to track their workouts with friends or be in touch with their trainer.
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And since it’s a smartwatch at the end of the day, you’ll also get the usual set of health and fitness-centric capabilities as well. Additionally, the Facebook-developed smartwatch would offer a quick interaction feature to chat with friends without requiring a paired smartphone. However, it is unclear if voice messages are part of this ‘quick interaction’ trick. But down the road, the company might also launch smartwatches that will interact with its AR glasses.
Notably, the smartwatch will support standalone cellular connectivity, which means you don’t need to keep it tethered to a smartphone for sending messages. “Facebook additionally plans to allow the device to connect to the services or hardware of health and fitness companies, such as Peloton Interactive, the maker of internet-connected exercise bikes,” the report adds.
The upcoming smartwatch will run Google’s fork of Android for wearables – which is most likely going to be Wear OS. The first smartwatch made by Facebook will arrive in 2022, while a second-generation model will reportedly make its way to the market in 2023. Interestingly, Facebook is said to sell the upcoming smartwatch at its production cost – a strategy to first get some market share and then start making a profit on it.
The upcoming Facebook smartwatch will be the first among many more to come
More importantly, Facebook is also claimed to be working on its own operating system, which suggests that the company will ditch Android down the road for its wearable hardware. The report mentions that development of the smartwatch is far along, however, the social media giant might pull the plugs on the project down the road.
Additionally, it appears that the smartwatch is not going to be a one-off project. “During a virtual all-hands meeting for employees in December, Facebook ChiefTechnology Officer Mike Schroepfer said the company planned to invest more in wearable devices as part of its long term hardware efforts, according to a person who heard the remarks,” adds the report.