Report: Facebook smartwatch no one wants has been put on hold, thankfully

A stack of smartwatches includes an Apple Watch Series 6 and 7, as well as a Galaxy Watch 4, an Oppo Watch and a TicWatch Pro 3 Ultra.

Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority

TL;DR

  • Meta has halted the development of what has become known as the Facebook watch.
  • The watch likely would have featured a unique, dual-camera design.
  • The watch would likely have also included a feature that would allow the user to control other devices via gestures.

Meta (formerly Facebook) appears to be backing off of its plans to release the heavily rumored Facebook watch, switching its focus to other wrist-worn devices.

Meta has been rumored to be working on a smartwatch for roughly two years. While many features of the Facebook smartwatch were similar to existing devices, Meta was working on a couple of unique abilities but was unable to make them work the way it wanted. According to Bloomberg, the company has now halted development.

Meta’s vision of the smartwatch allegedly included a rather odd addition: two cameras. One camera was apparently under the display, while the second was on the backside, pressed against the wrist. The idea was for users to take their watch off and use it as a camera.

Read more: The best smartwatches you can buy

Unfortunately for Meta, the back-facing camera interfered with the watch’s electromyography features. Electromyography is reading and translating nerve signals into digital commands. This would allow a user to control other devices via gestures. Meta hoped the device would serve as a way for people to interact with the metaverse, control their avatars, and more. Meta was never able to get electromyography to work with a camera taking up so much of the back face, effectively eliminating one of the watch’s biggest differentiating features.

Aside from the dual cameras and electromyography, the supposed Facebook watch would have been tightly integrated with Facebook and Instagram, making it easy for users to update their status.

While Meta may be abandoning its smartwatch, Bloomberg’s sources say the company is still working on other wrist-based devices, although little is known about them.

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