Facebook is said to be working on building its very own smartwatch as part of its ongoing hardware efforts. This follows a report from The Information that stated the social media company is planning on releasing its first smartwatch as early as 2022.
The story, corroborated by four anonymous sources at Facebook, states that the smartwatch has cellular connectivity, allowing it to function independently of a smartphone. The device is likely to integrate with Facebook Messenger as well as health and fitness features.
The Facebook smartwatch is expected to run on Android though it is not clear if it will use Google’s Wear OS. Facebook is also said to be building its own operating system for the smartwatch. There are plans for a future iteration of the wearable to run on this software instead. Furthermore, there is a possibility of a second-generation of smartwatches that could come as soon as 2023.
If the report is true, the new wearable would join Facebook’s growing portfolio of hardware devices including its Oculus virtual reality headsets and Portal video chat devices. Facebook has also been working on branded Ray-Ban smart glasses and a separate augmented reality research initiative called Project Aria.
The tech giant’s hardware ambitions are no secret. Bloomberg reported that Facebook has already employed more than 6,000 employees to work on various augmented and virtual reality projects. This includes those part of existing hardware divisions like Oculus and Portal as well as experimental initiatives under Facebook Reality Labs division.
Facebook is joining a long line of contenders that are looking to dethrone the Apple Watch. Besides LG and Sony, many classic watchmakers and fashion houses have tried to crack Apple’s dominance in the space but with limited success. Thus far, only Samsung and Fitbit (which is now owned by Google) have proved to be competitive.
The Information suggests that Facebook could be planning to sell the smartwatch near cost price. That’s all the information we have for now, but do tell us what do you think about a Facebook smartwatch. Would it be something you would buy or are you too concerned about your privacy to trust Facebook with more of your data?