(Cybertech) – Facebook reportedly plans to launch a stainless steel-framed smartwatch in summer 2022. It’ll have removable parts, is aimed at fitness enthusiasts, can work without a phone, and might have AR use-cases in its future.
The Verge said the device will feature a display with two cameras that can be detached from the wrist. One camera on the front of the watch display will be used for video calling. Another 1080p camera with auto-focusing will be used when detached for capturing pictures and videos meant to be shared across Facebook’s apps, including Instagram.
Facebook is working with third-party companies to create accessories that will attach to the camera, such as backpacks. It is also working with wireless carriers in the US to support LTE connectivity in the watch so that it won’t need to be paired with a smartphone to work. It will also be sold in carrier stores.
Currently, the plan is for it to be sold in white, black, or gold colourways.
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It will run a custom version of Google’s Android operating system and come with Facebook’s suite of apps, of course. It’ll be positioned as an Apple Watch competitor, too, serving as a fitness device equipped with a heart rate monitor.
There is no official name for the watch, which hasn’t yet entered production.
But Facebook reportedly thinks future watches could double as an input device for its upcoming AR glasses. It’s working on second and third generations and plans to use technology it acquired from CTRL-labs to achieve its vision.
Keep in mind this would be Facebook’s first attempt at releasing hardware for the wrist. It might cost around $400.
Of course, it has plenty of hardware experience in general at this point, having made a phone with HTC in 2013. It also acquired Oculus VR (and released subsequent headsets) and developed a range of Portal video chat devices.
Writing by Maggie Tillman.