Facebook To Build Smartwatch That Includes Messaging And Health Features.
Facebook Inc is building a smartwatch that will let users send messages and also offer health and fitness features. The social media giant plans to start selling the device next year in a move that would mark its first entry into a market that is currently dominated by Apple Inc and Huawei.
Facebook’s smartwatch will work via a 4G or 5G mobile connection, letting users send messages through its services and also connect to the services or hardware of health and fitness companies, such as Peloton Interactive, according to a report.
Menlo Park, California-based Facebook has been foraying into the hardware sector in recent years, coming up with products including virtual reality headset Oculus and video chatting device Portal.
The social networking giant’s hardware ambitions are no secret. The company has more than 6,000 employees working on various augmented and virtual reality projects and as part of existing hardware divisions like Oculus and Portal, as well as experimental initiatives under its Facebook Reality Labs division. And although Facebook has not expressed a strong interest in health and fitness devices in the past, the company does have a track record in wearables with its Oculus headsets and forthcoming smart glasses.
Facebook also acquired the neural interface startup CTRL-Labs in 2019. CTRL-Labs specialized in building wireless input mechanisms, including devices that could transmit electrical signals from the brain to computing devices without the need for traditional touchscreen or physical button inputs.
The startup’s intellectual property and ongoing research may factor into whatever wearables Facebook builds in the future — including a smartwatch, smart glasses, or future Oculus headsets.
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