Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg is on a mission to enter into the world of smartwatches.
Facebook is building a smartwatch as part of its ongoing hardware efforts. The target is to release it in the market by next year. This is a move that will mark its entry into a market that is currently dominated by Apple Inc and Huawei. The watch will let wearers send messages using Facebook's services as well as offer health and fitness features.
Facebook's planned foray into smartwatches would inch the company further toward CEO Mark Zuckerberg's aim of controlling the next computing platforms after smartphones.
The device is said to be an Android-based smartwatch. No reports yet have been released of whether Facebook intends for it to run on Google's Wear OS.
Facebook's smartwatch will work via a cellular connection. This means that it doesn't require pairing with a smartphone. It will let its users send messages through its services. It will also connect to the services or hardware of health and fitness companies, such as Peloton Interactive, as per the report by The Information.
Facebook's smartwatch could make it less dependent on Apple and Google but also raise privacy concerns.
Initially, it will run an open-source version of Google's Android. However, Facebook plans on building its own operating system.
The smartwatch would have messaging, health, and fitness features. Though health and fitness features are not unusual on a smartwatch, Facebook may have a lead with direct messaging. It might come with the ability to send messages from the watch directly. It will join Facebook's Oculus virtual reality headsets and Portal video chat devices as a part of Facebook's growing hardware ecosystem.
Facebook declined to comment about any planned smartwatch projects. Facebook declined to comment on it as per Reuters' request.
The social network giant's hardware ambitions are no longer a secret. Facebook is also working on branded Ray-Ban smart glasses to come out later this year. It is also working on a separated augmented reality research initiative known as Project Aria.
The company has more than 6,000 employees working on various augmented and virtual reality projects. It is a part of existing hardware divisions like Oculus and Portal. As well as experimental initiatives under its Facebook Reality Labs division. Facebook has not expressed a strong interest in health and fitness devices in the past. Yet the company has a track record in wearables with its Oculus headsets and forthcoming smartglasses.
About software, Facebook is reportedly working on an app like Clubhouse. Zuckerberg has joined Clubhouse. A New York Times report has revealed that Facebook has asked its product team to create a similar app. The app is in its early stages of development.
Emilie Haskell, a Facebook spokesperson told The NYT, "We've been connecting people through audio and video technologies for many years and are always exploring new ways to improve that experience for people."
Facebook has always been aware of its growing competitors. It has constantly tried to either acquire or create something bigger to overshadow the rivals. Facebook has taken over WhatsApp, Instagram, and even Oculus after these apps become popular among the audience. Facebook is now doing the same with Clubhouse.