The report did not give a reason for the turnaround, but the tech giant said in April that it had lost $3 billion in the first quarter to develop the metaverse.
Meta (and before that, Facebook) has been looking for a hardware path for years to diversify its business into a more vertically integrated approach to building technology products, not unlike Apple and Google.
While Facebook-owned Oculus produced the company’s biggest hardware hits, the watch is the latest in a series of stops and starts in Facebook’s hardware efforts. Others included an ill-fated attempt to hack into smartphones, the Portal screen, and a decades-long attempt with glasses (still not started).
One of the reasons for the shift could also be design problems. Bloomberg reported that the prototype watch had two cameras – a five-megapixel one on the front and one oddly placed 12-megapixel camera on the back.
The company wanted to use electromyography and convert nerve signals into digital commands that could be useful in games and the virtual world. But the second camera proved to be an impediment to this feature, and the firm decided to halt its development.
Meta planned to release the watch next year for $349.
According to photos and videos of the prototype, in addition to the camera, the smartwatch had features that are now fairly standard on smartwatches and wrist wearables, such as activity tracking, notifications, and cellular connectivity via eSIM. The device, codenamed “Milan”, was advertised for 18 hours of battery life.
This does not seem to be the end of the range of technologies he has created. A Bloomberg report says Meta is still working on other wrist-based wearables. The company has demonstrated AR controller prototype last year – prior to this renamed himself Meta – which can be worn on the wrist.
Meta declined to comment on the story.
Credit: techcrunch.com /