Meta reportedly halted development of $349 dual-camera smartwatch

UPDATE: Meta CTO Andrew “Boz” Bosworth says the company still has plans for wearable wristbands and AR glasses, but suggests the current releases aren’t quite ready for prime time. “We are iterating on several prototypes in parallel [and] move resources as we learn,” he tweeted.

Original story:
Facebook parent company Meta has apparently shelved plans to release a smartwatch that took at least two years to develop.

As Bloomberg reports(Opens in a new window)the dual-camera smartwatch – originally slated for release in spring 2023 with a price tag of $349 – ran into technical issues, and faced with the need for general cost reduction, Meta decided to rethink its priorities and put watch it aside.

Dubbed “Milan”, the prototype would 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 cameras, Meta has provided two: a 5-megapixel front camera and a 12-megapixel rear camera. When removed from your wrist, the rear camera can be used to take photos and capture video, but it interferes with the device’s EMG technology and is therefore unlikely to come out of testing assuming this device has come to market.

This isn’t Meta’s first EMG Rodeo. Last year, he introduced an electromyography bracelet for use in the Metaverse. Mark Zuckerberg recently sat down with Italian eyewear maker EssilorLuxottica, who collaborated on Ray-Ban Stories, to discuss a smart eyewear project using the Wearable Neural Interface.

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In the future, it is likely that at least some features developed for the smartwatch will be recycled in future products. Bloomberg highlighted features like a detachable watch face, eSIM, heart rate monitoring, social media apps, 18-hour battery life, and the ability to post fitness activities or achievements directly to Facebook and Instagram. He also noted that without an integrated App Store, users would manage apps from their Facebook account.

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