As Apple and Google develop anti-tracking features to protect customer privacy, Facebook is looking for a new way to keep tabs on its users. Custom hardware like Portal and Oculus could be the solution, as it allows Facebook to collect data without the help of smartphone brands. But Facebook̵
Facebook’s history with hardware is rocky at best. Most of the company’s hardware experiments never left Building 8, the famous (and now-defunct) projects lab that spent an unfathomable amount of money fiddling with AR gadgets and floor-to-ceiling video chat tools. And while Oculus and Portal are both fairly successful, Facebook is still reeling from its flaws in the hardware world, like the HTC First smartphone that went from $99 to $0.99 after a month on the market.
Still, Facebook is still trying its hardest with hardware. First reported by The Verge, Facebook is currently working on a smartwatch with a planned release in the summer of 2022. This smartwatch has all the usual features, including a heart rate monitor and messaging tool, but also has a quirk: two cameras.
A lens on the Facebook watch display enables video chatting Dick Traceystyle, without having to reach for your phone. And if you want to shoot HD video, you can take the watch out of the stainless steel chassis (leaving the watch band on your wrist) to use a bottom-mounted camera. Yes, we are talking about a watch with a bottom mounted camera.
Unsurprisingly, videos shot on the Facebook watch can be uploaded directly to Facebook or Instagram. The Facebook watch supports LTE connectivity to make this process as painless as possible and to bypass your smartphone’s privacy features. Funnily enough, Facebook hopes to make its watch a smartphone replacement, not a smartphone partner. (Zuckerberg is obsessed with replacing smartphones and often talks about how AR glasses will make phones obsolete.)
Facebook has reportedly spent more than a billion dollars developing this smartwatch, which runs on a modified version of Android. If the company doesn’t let the hardware down, it should launch in the summer of 2022. Internally, Facebook is discussing a $400 price tag and is already working on the second and third generations of the hardware.
Source: The Verge, The Information