Meta kills its smartwatch2022-06-09 18:39 by Daniela
Tags: Meta, smartwatch
Meta has halted development of a smartwatch with two built-in cameras, Bloomberg reports. The device - codenamed "Milan" - had reportedly been planned for release in spring 2023 at a price of around $349. Technical issues, as well as general cost-cutting at Meta, are reportedly to blame for the cancellation.
The long-rumored smartwatch was pegged as a possible Apple Watch competitor and the report suggests it was expected to go on sale next spring. A prototype was said to have features including activity tracking, a calendar, photo gallery and heart rate monitoring. It's believed to have had an 18-hour battery life.
While Facebook-owned Oculus has produced the company's biggest hardware hits, the watch becomes the latest in a line of stops and starts in Facebook's hardware efforts. Others have included an ill-fated attempt to break into smartphones, the Portal screen, and a many-years-long effort with glasses (still not launched).
Along with technical complications, it seems that broader issues at Meta played a role in the device being put on hold. A report last month suggested the company has killed off some Meta Reality Labs projects as it looks to rein in spending. Meta has shaken up its leadership team in recent weeks as well.
Still, the work of the engineers who were on the dual-camera watch project may not be in vain. Meta may use some of the features in other wearables. There's a possibility of the project being revived at a later date too.
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