Although it hasn't been officially announced yet, a few details have begun to leak out about Facebook's first smartwatch.
Due to launch in the summer of 2022, the wearable will reportedly feature a pair of removable cameras. They can be detached and used to snap photos in a similar way to a smartphone, then reattached to the watch when not needed.
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Photos taken by the cameras can be uploaded to Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp, all of which are owned by the social media firm. This is all according to a report by The Verge, citing two unnamed people familiar with the project.
It is said that this is part of a plan for Facebook to build more consumer devices, but without tying itself to the smartphone operating systems of Apple and Google. It is thought the smartwatch would work independently of both.
The watch will reportedly have a front-facing camera for video calls and a second camera on its rear with a 1080p resolution and auto-focus. Support for third-party accessories to attach to the watch is also said to be in the works.
Facebook has increased its hardware portfolio over the last couple of years with the launch of the Portal video chat device. At first viewed with apprehension, the device found a home for itself during the Covid-19 pandemic, with its high-quality cameras and advanced video calling functionality.
It is claimed Facebook is working to give the watch its own LTE connection – again, removing the need for it to be tethered to a smartwatch – and it will reportedly be offered in white, black and gold. It is also said to feature a heart rate monitor.
Future versions of the Facebook smartwatch could integrate with the augmented reality smart glasses the company is also understood to be working on. But for now Facebook has its sights set fairly low, with the plan reportedly being to sell the watch in "low six figures" quantity – something of a rounding error compared to the 30 million-plus Apple Watches thought to have been sold in 2020.
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