Facebook is working on a smartwatch because of course they are
Would you wear a Facebook-branded smartwatch? You don’t have to answer now, but you might want to keep it in your mind, as a new report from The Information says that the social giant is working on one that could be available to buy as early as 2022.
Expect your usual bevy of fitness tracking and apps, with a heavy focus on Facebook’s own offerings like Messenger, and potentially Instagram and WhatsApp. It’s expected to have onboard LTE, so it can be used without a smartphone, reducing the dependence on other company’s devices.
If you’re worried that only Facebook apps will work on it, maybe knowing that Facebook plans to let it sync up with services like Peleton will assuage your fears. Then again, that just means that Facebook will have your Peleton data, so maybe that’s a scarier proposition.
The watch is said to be running a version of Google’s Android, with Facebook also working on its own operating system for devices in the future. It’s said to be emphasizing the social aspect of fitness training, with scoreboards showing your friends’ times or instant messaging to your trainer.
Could it eventually be a controller for your Oculus headset as well? Maybe, as Facebook does own CTRL-Labs, who was working on an arm-based controller that could read human brain signals. That’d probably be on a future release of the smartwatch, and perhaps to coincide with the release of Facebook’s augmented reality glasses in 2023 or beyond.
With Facebook said to be selling the smartwatch at near the cost of manufacturing, maybe that will be enough to carve out market share from Apple and Fitbit. Then again, the proof of any wearable is the quality of the fitness tracking paired with how many services it can link up with. It’ll be interesting to see what the final device turns out to be once available.
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