Facebook is adopting a smartwatch as part of its ongoing effort in the hardware space, according to To report New from The Information.
It is said: The device is a smartwatch running the Android system, although the report does not mention whether Facebook intends to run the device with Wear OS from Google.
The report shows that Facebook is working on building its own operating system for the devices and that future versions of the wearable device may instead work on that system.
The smartwatch includes messaging, health and fitness features. The social media giant plans to start selling it next year, in a move that would mark its entry into a market currently dominated by Apple and Huawei.
Facebook’s smartwatch works via cellular connectivity, allowing users to send messages through its services and also connect to health and fitness companies’ services or devices, such as Peloton Interactive.
Facebook is also working on Ray-Ban branded smart glasses to be launched later this year.
The smartwatch joins Facebook’s Oculus virtual reality glasses and Portal video chat devices as part of the social network’s growing device ecosystem.
A separate augmented reality research initiative known as Project Aria is part of the company’s broader augmented reality exploration, which it has been working on for some time now.
It is noteworthy that the hardware aspirations of the giant social network are not secret, as the company has more than 6000 employees working on various augmented and virtual reality projects and as part of the existing hardware divisions, such as: Oculus and Portal, in addition to experimental initiatives within the Facebook Reality Labs division, according to Reported Bloomberg last month.
Although Facebook has not expressed much interest in health and fitness devices in the past, the company has a strong track record in wearables with Oculus and upcoming smart glasses.
Facebook also acquired startup CTRL-Labs Neural Interface in 2019, and CTRL-Labs has specialized in building wireless input mechanisms, including devices that can transmit electrical signals from the brain to computing devices without the need for the traditional touch screen or the input of physical buttons.
The startup’s intellectual property and ongoing research could affect Facebook’s wearables in the future – including a smartwatch, smart glasses, or future Oculus glasses.