Meta, Facebook’s newly announced parent company, is said to have been working on a wrist-worn wearable for much of this year, and a new image (below) purporting to show the device has surfaced online.
The image, which was discovered in Facebook’s iPhone app for its Ray-Ban smart glasses and was first published by Bloomberg, shows a design with rounded corners, a camera nestled in a notch, and control buttons on the side and top. The device, which Meta has yet to officially unveil, appears to be more than just a fitness tracker and thus would compete directly with the Apple Watch and other mainstream smartwatches.
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The inclusion of a camera in Meta would set it apart from competitors such as the Apple Watch, with the company possibly pitching it as a solution for videoconferencing in situations where a more advanced setup is unavailable.
The device is also said to have a detachable wrist strap, allowing wearers to customize the look and feel of the watch.
Earlier this year, it was reported that Facebook was working on a smartwatch with a cellular connection, implying that wearers would be able to fully utilize its features without the need to pair it with a smartphone.
It would also most likely be heavily integrated with Meta’s Messenger and WhatsApp messaging services, as well as include a slew of health-related features. According to the same report, Facebook is planning to release its first smartwatch in early 2022.
It should be noted that Meta has not made an official announcement about a smartwatch, with Bloomberg speculating that “the device in the image could ultimately represent a version that is never released.” However, based on previous reports and this latest leak, it appears that the company is moving toward the release of such a device, though its precise design remains unknown.
With Apple, Samsung, and a slew of other tech companies already producing multiple iterations of their own smartwatches, Meta’s decision to enter the fray will be a bold one. However, with vast resources at its disposal, the company will be confident in its ability to develop a device that will capture the attention of shoppers.
Digital Trends has reached out to Meta for more information on its rumored smartwatch, and we will update this article as soon as we receive a response.