Meta would have abandoned its connected watch project for the metaverse. Facebook’s parent company would also stop selling its Portal products to the general public.
Mark Zuckerberg has metaverse dreams, but it is for the time being overtaken by reality. The ambition of Facebook’s parent company, Meta, involves the launch of new connected objects. The firm has accelerated in product development in recent years. One of its most iconic projects takes the form of a smartwatch, but it might never see the light of day.
According to information from Bloomberg, Meta would have ended the development of its connected watch. Designed as a competitor to the Apple Watch, the accessory had to include two modules to stand out. The first images and video of a prototype seen by the American media indicate that the first camera was located under the screen. The second was at the back, against the wrist of the user and this choice was not trivial.
Facebook abandons its connected watch project
Meta wanted to allow watch wearers to capture snaps by detaching the watch face. A innovative functionality and ultimately considered too complex to establish. Indeed, the presence of a camera on the back of the watch would cause problems with another function supposed to translate nerve signals at the wrist. Called electromyography, it was judged as a ” top priority for Meta.
The teams working on the watch would have been informed within a week of its abandonment. The shutdown of the Facebook Watch, known codenamed Milan, would be a blow for the firm. With the connected glasses, she had to be a gateway to the metaverse imagined by the American giant. A project ultimately too ambitious for this social network specialist, who does not have the experience of some of his rivals in terms of equipment. The brand’s latest attempt is the launch of a pair of glasses in cooperation with Ray-Ban.
Towards the end of Portal products for the general public
Meta will undoubtedly have the ambition to work on other accessories in the future. Nevertheless, the group is said to be reviewing its priorities and would stop selling Portal products to the general public. According to information from The Information and The VergeMeta’s video communication devices would look to the corporate world.
This change in strategy would come as Meta faces pressure from its shareholders. Indeed, investors would be concerned about the billions of dollars spent by the company in projects that are struggling to be profitable. The Portal screens of Facebook then Meta are competitors of the connected products of Google or Amazon. They offer to make video calls via popular services like Messenger, WhatsApp, Zoom or Microsoft Teams. The range now includes four devices; ranging from the TV model to the Portal Plus through the 10-inch model and the Go.
Despite the firm’s efforts, the Portal series has never been a big hit with the public. According to IDC figures, Meta only shipped 800,000 Portal devices in 2021 and would weigh less than 1% of the market for connected screens and speakers. Figures too low for this member of GAFAM which has billions of users. As of December 31, 2021, 2.8 billion people visited one of its four services (Facebook, Instagram, Messenger and WhatsApp) at least once a day and 3.6 billion at least once a month.