Meta Watch: why does Facebook want to launch a connected watch?

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The “Meta Watch” would have a notch and a camera at the bottom of the screen to support the group’s services.

A new actor named Meta could soon appear in the connected watch segment. If this name doesn’t ring a bell, Facebook’s name will probably be more familiar to you and it is directly related to this project. Indeed, Meta is none other than the new name of the parent company of the famous social network, and the company does not lack ambition. In addition to its massive metaverse project, Meta is looking to get even closer to the mainstream. Oculus Quest virtual reality headsets will become Meta Quest and the brand could launch its connected watch very soon.

The subject came back to the fore last week, but it is far from new. From the start of the year, we reported the possibility of seeing Meta – then known as Facebook – launching into the battle in 2022. Several sources then mentioned the ambition of the American giant to come and titillate the market leaders that are Apple, Huawei, Samsung or Fitbit. The project became clearer in June when Meta’s head of virtual and augmented reality, Andrew “Boz” Bosworth “explained that the company’s project could take the form of a device on the wrist. “We will say more when we are ready”, he added.

A few months later and after launching glasses in partnership with Ray-Ban, the hypothetical connected watch from Meta is talked about again. Known for his information on Apple, journalist Mark Gurman of Bloomberg has unveiled a first image of the one that is already presented as a competitor of the Apple Watch. Spotted by developer Steve Moser, the image was found in Meta’s app for the firm’s connected glasses. It highlights the presence of a screen and a case slightly curved on the edges, but especially of a front camera similar to that of a smartphone.

This is what Meta’s first watch could look like. © Bloomberg

This camera is housed in a notch at the bottom of the screen. On the right, we can also discover a control button while the bracelets are easily detachable and interchangeable. For now, the design of this watch is somewhat reminiscent of the Apple Watch Series 7 which has a larger screen. The main novelty would be the addition of a camera, an element absent from connected watches currently available on the market. Its presence could make it possible to make video calls, but would not be a first in a watch. In 2014, it was possible to get your hands on a Samsung Gear 2 with a 2 megapixel photo sensor.

A camera to serve the group’s messaging applications

By adding a photo sensor, Meta could connect its new device to its various services by offering the possibility of making video calls via Messenger or WhatsApp. The site The Verge even mentioned the possible presence of a second 1080p photo sensor dedicated to capturing photos and videos. The latter could make the link with the social network Facebook and Instagram.

Meta’s connected watch project also reflects the group’s ambitions in terms of hardware. The sector is of particular interest to the giant which no longer wants to limit itself to services, and which has already distinguished itself with Portal screens, Oculus headsets or connected glasses. Symbol of these ambitions, Meta has already planned to offer a real range of watches with three generations of products that would be released on different dates. Before discovering the final design of the watch, we expect to know more about the chip used and the power delivered by this product. It cannot be ruled out that the firm may attempt an approach on the side of augmented reality if its connected watch is swift enough. As early as 2018, we indicated that Facebook was ready to develop its own chips for augmented reality.

Three years later, it is with his gaze turned towards the metaverse that Mark Zuckerberg aims to launch a connected watch. When the new name was announced, the CEO of the group had also confided that the metaverse would “Touch all products” that Meta will develop in the future.

Mark Zuckerberg at the conference announcing the Facebook group name change to Meta. © Screenshot / Meta

The “Meta Watch” would be officially launched in 2022, although the firm reserves the right to delay its launch. The shortage of electronic components could delay the launch of a product that will occupy an important place in the new chapter of a giant that has not always met with the expected success with its products, such as the Facebook Phone launched in 2013 with HTC .

On the other hand, the group has had more success in the field of virtual reality headsets. Meta is also preparing a new mixed reality headset for the time being known under the code name “Project Cambria”. Again, the metaverse is in the crosshairs.

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