Meta gives up on building a camera-equipped smartwatch, report says

Meta gives up on building a camera-equipped smartwatch, report says

In October 2021, right around the time Facebook became Meta, a report said that the company was working on a smartwatch with built-in cameras.

Now, according to Bloomberg, that particular project is dead – though Facebook might launch a different type of wearable down the line.

The report claims that Facebook has "halted" the development of the camera-equipped watch, and is working on other wearables. Bloomberg has seen photos and videos of the prototype of the watch, and has a bunch of details on its features. Apparently, it was pretty much your regular smartwatch, with activity tracking, music playback, notifications, and messaging. But it would also have an uncommon feature for watches: two cameras, one below the display, and the other on the backside, against the wearer's wrist.

It was that oddly positioned camera that apparently caused issues in the watch's development, as it was interfering with the watch's ability to do electromyography, meaning translating nerve signals into digital commands. Something like that could be useful in a virtual world, in which you could perform various actions by moving your fingers or hand.

And if you're wondering why the camera was positioned on the bottom of the watch, the idea was for the wearer to be able to take the watch off and take photos with said camera. Yes, it still doesn't make a lot of sense.

It's worth noting that, while there's probably no immediate product on the horizon, a recently granted Apple patent describes a wristwatch equipped with a camera. The interest seems to be there, it's just that no one has figured out how to do the camera watch properly – yet.

Facebook's camera-equipped watch was supposed to launch in spring 2023 for the price of around $349, the report claims.

As for the other wearables Meta is reportedly working on, details are scarce, but Bloomberg's sources say some of the technologies and features developed for the camera watch will be used in those other devices.

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