Meta would have abandoned the connected watch project. Faced with increasing costs associated with the metaverse, the group prefers to stop costs.
According to information from our Bloomberg colleagues, Meta, ex-Facebook, would have asked its Reality Labs division to abandon smartwatch development. The engineers involved in the project, whose code name is “Milan”, they “announced this week that the device is no longer on the production track”.
Rumors of a smartwatch being made by Meta surfaced last year. The first drops appeared an Android smartwatch intended to compete with the Apple Watch, which currently dominates the market. To differentiate itself, Meta plans to integrate a camera for video calls.
A connected watch with 2 cameras
The engineers involved in the “Milan” project were developed a prototype watch before it was canceled. Bloomberg was able to get their hands on images of the accessory. The watch case obviously has two cameras.
The first photo sensor is located under the touch screen. It is intended for video calls on Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp or Instagram. The second camera is located on the back of the case. This module is wearer’s consent take photos by removing the case on the wristband. This is a new approach.
Unfortunately, the combination of this second sensor causes malfunctions in one of the key technologies of the smartwatch, electromyography. This technology should allow the watch wearer to interact with elements of virtual or augmented reality.
For this, the watch strap translates electrical signals released by your body. In a blog post published in March 2021, Meta already explained that the signals sent by your brain to the muscles of your hands by the nervous system can be decoded by bracelets designed by engineers. of it. These signals are automatically translated into digital commands.
“What we’re trying to do with neural interfaces allows you to directly control the machine”explained Thomas Reardon, director of the neuromotor interface at Meta. “In augmented reality, you can touch and move virtual objects.[…] You can also control virtual objects remotely »advanced Meta last year.
Meta apparently wants her smartwatch to go with her upcoming glasses for augmented reality. Expected to run in 2024, the pair of intelligent glasses aims to display 3D elements superimposed on reality in front of the user’s eyes. To interact with these elements, such as avatars representing your loved ones, the wearer must have shake your hand. The watch is clearly intended for future metaverse users.
In addition, the Meta smartwatch should offer the classic features of a connected watch. Bloomberg announced the presence of WiFi, GPS, cellular connection via eSIM, apps like Spotify, WhatsApp, Instagram, health tracking system, heart monitor and calendar. It hit the market in the spring of 2023 at a price of almost $ 349. The media says that “Meta is still working on many other wrist-worn devices”.
Meta cost reduction
Meta has reportedly canceled the release of its smartwatch to reduce the cost of sharing it Reality Labs. If financial results are released for the first quarter of 2022, the company will announce a loss of $ 2.96 billion.
Within a year, the metaverse division had lost $ 10.19 billion. This is the heaviest loss on record since the company. The large investments Mark Zuckerberg has directed in the field of virtual and augmented reality have contributed to the deterioration of the group’s results.
Aware of the financial losses, the founder of Meta expects Reality Labs not to generate a profit on its products before 2030. To reassure shareholders, however, Zuckerberg agreed that prioritize some projects to the detriment of others.