A smartwatch is a digital watch that provides many other features besides timekeeping. Examples include monitoring your heart rate, tracking your activity, and providing reminders throughout the day.
Facebook is working on a smartwatch that could allow users to send messages through its services, including WhatsApp, Instagram and Messenger, and offer health and fitness features, according to a report.
Facebook’s smartwatch is expected to arrive next summer. The watch could have a heart rate monitor, which might make it a hard sell for some, given the company’s handling of user data over the years. It’s not yet clear how much Facebook plans to charge for its first smartwatch, but it could be around $400.
The smartwatch is also said to come with cellular connectivity. Facebook is also reportedly developing its own operating system that could power its future wearables. The device is said to be an Android-based smartwatch, though the report does not say whether Facebook intends for the device to run Google’s Wear OS. Facebook is working on branded Ray-Ban smart glasses to come out later this year and a separate augmented reality research initiative known as Project Aria, which is part of the company’s broader AR explorations it’s been working on for some time now.
In recent years, the social network has expanded into selling consumer hardware, introducing Oculus virtual reality headsets and its Portal lineup of video-calling devices for the home. But it has not yet entered the smartwatch market popularized by companies like Apple, Huawei and Fitbit, which is now owned by Google. With all the focus on Fitbit, Apple Watch and even Strava, fitness services struggle to bring people together – and Facebook has the biggest of all user bases to draw from.