Facebook's first smartwatch targeted for next summer, will do double duty as a standalone camera
Facebook is continuing to expand its plans for hardware according to a new report from The Verge. The company already has its range of Portal devices and a range of VR headset products thanks to its acquisition of Oculus. Now, the social media giant is set to release its first smartwatch and it has a twist that could help it create some cut-through with the saturated smartwatch market.
The Facebook smartwatch is expected to debut in the summer of 2022, or just over one year away. While it will inevitably integrate fitness which undoubtedly be linked to Facebook’s social media features, it will also feature not one, but two cameras. The main camera is said to be front facing for video calling with an unusual secondary camera placed on the rear of the device. To use it, users would pop the smartwatch out of its band and shoot photos or video with it like they would a smartphone or a point-and-shoot camera.
At this stage, there aren’t any indications as to what chipset will power the device or the operating system that it will run. Facebook’s own Oculus software is an Android fork, so a variant of that, but optimized for a smartwatch, could well be a possibility. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerburg is keen to pursue its own hardware options to help bypass the control that both Apple and Google have over it via their own devices. Given Facebook’s privacy gaffes in the past, it might have an uphill battle convincing users to share their health and other data with the company.