Meta has stopped developing smart watche with two cameras
Meta has stopped developing smart watche with two cameras

According to Bloomberg, Meta, the parent company of Facebook, has shifted from developing dual-camera smartwatches in favor of other wrist-based devices.

The device, which has been in development for at least two years, is said to include many features common in other smartwatches, including activity tracking, music playback, and messaging.

The now-discontinued prototype features dual cameras, which sets it apart from market leaders such as the Apple Watch.

Most smartwatches, including the Apple Watch, do not currently have cameras. As such, the company had hoped that the presence of dual cameras would be an advantage for its wearables in a crowded market.

One of the cameras is located at the bottom of the screen and the other at the back, opposite the wearer's wrist. The second camera is designed so that users can separate the watch face from the band to take a quick photo.

However, the presence of the camera caused problems with another feature that converts nerve signals from the wrist into digital commands. This technical ability, known as electromyography, is a priority for the meta.

Meta promotes the benefits of EMG as a way to use the human hand to control other devices, including those oriented towards metaphysics.

"It's about decoding those signals on your wrist and converting them into digital commands for your device," the company said in a blog post earlier this year.

Company executives have discussed the capabilities of smartwatches as part of the so-called Metaverse vision. For example, sensors in wrist devices can be used to help people control their avatars or interact with what they see through augmented reality glasses.

Dual cameras have been discontinued. But Meta is still working on many other wrist-worn devices.

Meta continues to actively develop other wrist devices

Staff developing the watch, codenamed Milan, was informed this week that the device is no longer in production. It is expected to be launched in the spring of 2023 and will retail for $350.

Spending cuts may also have played a role in the company's decision to stop developing the watch. Meta executives said in April that the company would cut annual spending by $3 billion this year in light of the broader business slowdown.

It has also affected hiring from within the company, with some top positions being suspended or slowed down in recent months. “Reducing costs means prioritizing specific projects and efforts,” CEO Mark Zuckerberg told investors at the time.

It is possible that some of the features developed for the dual camera watches will appear in future products. The prototype device has the following characteristics:

  • Detachable dial with gold case.
  • There are two buttons on the side of the case, one is long and the other is a small circle.
  • There is a 5MP camera on the front of the watch face and a 12MP camera on the back of the watch.
  • Wi-Fi, GPS and cellular communication via eSIM.
  • WhatsApp, Instagram Stories, Spotify, daily activity tracking, workouts, photo gallery, heart rate monitor, calendar, settings and breathing.
  • 18 hours of autonomy.

The watch also includes an alarm center and lock screen. The device does not have a built-in app store. Instead, users manage apps and features through their Facebook accounts.

The wearer can also post details of their fitness activities or achievements directly to Facebook and Instagram from the device.

The mockups first appeared in the Ray-Ban Stories smart glasses management meta app. Milano Smartwatch is developed by Reality Labs division.

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