Meta Reportedly Halts Development of $349 Dual-Camera Smartwatch

UPDATE: Meta CTO Andrew “Boz” Bosworth says the company still has plans for wrist wearables and AR glasses, but suggests that current versions are not quite ready for primetime. “We iterate on multiple prototypes in parallel [and] shift resources as we learn,” he tweeted.

Original Story:
Facebook parent company Meta has apparently shelved plans to release a smartwatch it spent at least two years developing. 

As Bloomberg reports(Opens in a new window), the dual-camera smartwatch—originally targeted for release in spring 2023 with a $349 price tag—has experienced technical issues, and faced with general cost cutting being required, Meta decided to rethink its priorities and shelved the watch.

Codenamed “Milan,” the prototype was said to include activity tracking, music playback, and messaging, as well as electromyography (EMG)—the ability to translate nerve signals from your hand into digital commands. And while most smartwatches don’t feature any cameras, Meta planned for two: one front-facing, 5-megapixel cam and one 12-megapixel rear shooter. When removed from your wrist, the rear camera could be used to snap photos and capture video, but it interfered with the device’s EMG technology and was therefore unlikely to make it out of testing assuming this device had come to market.

This isn’t Meta’s first EMG rodeo. Last year, it introduced an electromyography wristband for use in the metaverse. Mark Zuckerberg recently met with Italian eyewear maker EssilorLuxottica—which collaborated on Ray-Ban Stories—to discuss a smart glasses project using the neural interface wearable.

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Moving forward, it’s likely at least some features developed for the smartwatch will be recycled into future products. Bloomberg highlighted functions like a removable watch face, eSIM, heart-rate monitoring, social media apps, 18-hour battery life, and option to post fitness activity or achievements directly to Facebook and Instagram. It also noted that without a built-in App Store, users would manage applications from their Facebook account.

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