Facebook is taking a new approach to its first smartwatch. The Menlo Park company hasn't publicly confirmed but currently plans to debut next summer.
In the rumors reported by the American site The Verge, the Facebook smartwatch will feature a display with two cameras that can be detached from the wrist to take photos and videos to share through the suite of apps we know well, including Instagram.
Two cameras, the triumph of the selfie
La front camera of the clock display will mainly be used for video calls, while the back one (1080px) with autofocus can be used to capture movies when detached from the stainless steel frame on the wrist.
Facebook is also contacting other companies to create accessories to match this sort of detachable "hub". The revelations arrive at the American site through two internal "deep throats", which have asked for anonymity (or which exploit it to allow the company to take the pulse of the public. (?) always promotional).
The idea is to encourage the owners of the watch to use it in the ways smartphones are used now. It's part of the Mark Zuckerberg plan: to build more consumer devices that evade Apple and Google, the two main creators of mobile phone platforms that today, in fact, largely control Facebook's ability to reach people.
Facebook smartwatch, another "act of war" against the Apple
The Facebook smartwatch is Zuckerberg's first attempt to release wrist-specific hardware, opening up another area of competition with Apple at a time when the two tech giants are already at odds on other fronts.
Apple has positioned itself firmly as a protector of privacy limiting the types of data that apps like Facebook can collect, while Facebook has been besieged for years by scandals surrounding its handling of user data.
This dynamic could push Facebook into aggressive policies to get people to buy its next Apple Watch competitor. Especially since it plans to position the watch as a fitness device with a heart rate monitor as well.
Also from the rumors, Facebook is working with the best wireless operators in the US to support LTE connectivity in the smartwatch, which means it won't have to be paired with a phone to work.
The Facebook smartwatch (initially slated in white, black and gold) aims to sell a six-digit number of devices for its debut. Sure, it would give a small sliver of the global smartwatch market - Apple sold 34 million watches last year by comparison, according to Counterpoint Research.
But that's just the beginning
In future versions of the smartwatch, Facebook plans to make it a key input device for its augmented reality headsets (or future glasses), which Zuckerberg predicts will be as ubiquitous as cell phones today.
The recent acquisition of CTRL-labs, a startup that showed bracelets that could control a computer with wrist movements is more than a clue.
As mentioned, Facebook aims to release the first version of the smartwatch in the summer of 2022, and is already working on the second and third generation for the following years.
It will be a success. Maybe.
Facebook's results for hardware manufacturing are absolutely unpredictable. Its 2013 phone with HTC was a colossal failure, and it has yet to reveal sales of its Oculus VR headsets or Portal video chat device for the home.
In recent interviews, executives said that Oculus Quest 2 headset sales outpaced all previous Oculus headsets combined. Too bad we didn't have the sales figures either.
A Facebook smartwatch has been Zuckerberg's thing for years
For some time, in 2019, Facebook touched on the acquisition of Fitbit before Google snatched the manufacturer of fitness wearables from it.
Since then, the inch one social network has already spent about $ 1 billion developing the first version of the Facebook smartwatch, and has hundreds of people working on the project.
There are few doubts about the operating system: it will be a customized version of Android. Facebook Smartwatch plans to lean on its suite of apps and external partnerships to create the user experience.