If Meta seemed to have stopped its development of a connected watch in November 2022, the leak of a recent internal roadmap to the Californian company reveals that it plans to release two connected products to wear on its wrist… but no longer under the same shape.
Article updated on March 6, 2023: The American multinational finally took its smartwatch project out of the boxes. According to an internal company roadmap unveiled by the American media The Verge on March 1, 2023, Meta is finally planning to release a smartwatch.
A bracelet to control the glasses
Two products would be on the table. First, a connected bracelet rather than a watch. This device, called neural interface “, would be sold with future connected glasses developed by the Californian firm to more easily control the glasses with “ hand movements, such as sliding fingers across an imaginary directional pad “, according The Verge.
Eventually, this bracelet should also make it possible to use ” a virtual keyboard and type as many words per minute as mobile phones allow “. It would also be sold with Meta’s glasses.
A real smartwatch is also planned
On the other hand, the second device should be a real connected watch, called to be an improved version of the bracelet. In addition to being equipped with classic health and fitness features, it should allow filming with the front camera during a video call, while the glasses film the wearer’s environment. It should also integrate links with Meta’s social applications (Facebook, Instagram or WhatsApp).
In its four-year roadmap, Meta plans the release of these two products for 2027, after a first test with its employees as early as 2024.
Meta could keep detachable format
Information that echoes recent rumors reported by the leaker Kuba Wojciechowski on his Twitter account on January 31. He shares several visuals of an unknown model of Meta connected watch, still in detachable format and running under a version custom Android with a Qualcomm processor.
I have recently been contacted by an anonymous source that has provided me with new information as well as a few photos of a new iteration of the watch. pic.twitter.com/6BeAH9qIky
— Kuba Wojciechowski:3 (@Za_Raczke) January 31, 2023
However, there is currently no information indicating that these visuals and Meta’s connected watch projects correspond to the same products.
Original article from November 14, 2022 : A year ago, after the Facebook group changed its name to Meta, we learned, thanks to certain indiscretions, that the firm was working to develop several connected watches. Particularity of this one, it would have been equipped with several cameras in order to better adapt to a use within the framework of the metaverse.
Last June, however, we learned from the agency Bloomberg that Meta had put the development of its connected watch on hold: “ Facebook parent Meta Platforms Inc has suspended development of its dual-camera smartwatch and is now working on other wrist devices, according to a person familiar with the matter “.
If the watch initially planned therefore seemed to be put on hold and could have served as a basis for new smartwatches or connected bracelets, it finally seems that it will not be as reported by the agency. Reutersat the end of last week.
On Friday, November 11, the news agency indeed split a short article reporting the current projects of Meta:
Meta Platforms is exiting the Portal smart display market and will scale back smartwatch projects, several executives said Friday during a meeting with employees.
This brake on Meta’s hardware projects can no doubt be explained by the drastic reduction in the firm’s workforce. Indeed, Mark Zuckerberg announced last week that he had to lay off 11,000 Meta employees, or 13% of its workforce. A choice imposed, according to the boss of Meta, by growth forecasts modeled on the results of the company during the containment phase of 2020. Meta then thought that the habits of Internet users would continue after the Covid. This was without counting on the current economic and energy crisis.
In addition, Meta’s valuation has dropped drastically in one year, from $1.078 billion in September 2021 to $299 trillion in November 2022, i.e. a capitalization divided by almost four in just over a year. Faced with this decline in the financial markets, Meta therefore had to refocus on its main activities, namely social networks, but also its projects around the metaverse.
Connected screens also abandoned
In addition to abandoning connected watch projects, Meta has also announced that it will put aside its connected screens from the Portal range. Launched in 2018, this range aims to offer screens allowing users to make video calls simply.
For four years, Meta has multiplied the models with a Portal and a Portal+, followed by a Portal Mini, a Portal TV – which connects to the television – a Portal Go and a Portal for Business, intended for businesses. As the American site reminds usThe VergeMeta had already slowed down in the field of connected screens in June by deciding to stop production.
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