Facebook just doesn’t sit still. After announcing on Thursday that Facebook’s parent company will change its name to Meta, it seems the tech giant may be planning another big move it hasn’t even mentioned yet. An image on one of its apps suggests the company is working on a smartwatch to compete with Apple Watch and Samsung Galaxy watches.
As reported by Bloomberg last night, an app developer named Steve Moser saw an image of a smartwatch on Facebook View, an app for controlling the Ray-Ban Stories smart glasses. The publication described the image as a smartwatch with rounded corners, a button on the side and a white band that is said to be detachable. Meta has not commented on the report.
On the watch face, there is a notch for an integrated camera, which could support video calls. This would be a notable feature given that Apple and Samsung smartwatches don’t have cameras. Back in June, The Verge said we’ll see a Facebook smartwatch with two cameras: one on the front for video calls and one on the back for taking photos and video.
When can we expect a Meta smartwatch?
An unnamed “informed person” told Bloomberg that there are plans to launch a smartwatch in 2022 or later, but the release date is tentative. The statement confirms The Verge’s June report, which claimed the smartwatch would be released in the summer of 2022. The Bloomberg source also said that Meta is working on three generations of smartwatches with different release dates.
But without a word from the company, any Meta or Facebook smartwatch is still just a rumor. As Bloomberg acknowledges, the image in question may not even represent an actual product. Still, a Meta smartwatch isn’t hard to imagine, and it fits the brand’s interest in emerging hardware categories and technology-driven fitness.
Of course, there are many unanswered questions here. Chief among them, why wasn’t the product mentioned at yesterday’s big Connect event? The company openly discussed its AR smart glasses, even though Zuckerberg acknowledged that there is “still a way to go” until the product is ready. We also heard about Project Cambria, plans for a high-end VR headset.
Maybe there was too much going on yesterday. Or maybe Meta is just playing it cool as smartwatches would be a new category for the company. Time will tell.
Listing image by Facebook via Bloomberg