Facebook’s newly announced parent company, Meta, has reportedly been working on a wrist-worn wearable for much of this year and a new image claiming to show the device has appeared online.
The image, discovered in Facebook’s iPhone app for its Ray-Ban smart glasses and first published by Bloomberg, shows a design with rounded corners, a camera, and control buttons on the side and top. The device, which Meta is yet to officially announce, appears to be more than just a fitness tracker and would therefore compete directly with the Apple Watch and other mainstream smartwatches.
Meta’s decision to include a camera would set it apart from rival products such as the Apple Watch, with the company possibly pitching as a solution for videoconferencing in moments when a more advanced setup is unavailable.
The device reportedly has a detachable wrist strap, too, which will allow wearers to personalize the look and feel of the watch.
Reports earlier this year suggested Facebook was working on a smartwatch with a cellular connection, meaning wearers would be able to make full use of its features without having to pair it with a smartphone.
It would also likely be heavily integrated with Meta-owned Messenger and WhatsApp messaging services, and go heavy on health features, too. The same report suggested Facebook was looking to launch its first-ever smartwatch in early 2022.
It should be noted that Meta has made no official announcement about a smartwatch, with Bloomberg noting in its piece that “the device in the image could ultimately represent a version that is never released.” But given the reports over the last year, and this latest leak, it appears that the company is moving toward the launch of such a device, though its precise design remains to be seen.
With Apple, Samsung, and a slew of other tech companies already having produced multiple iterations of their own smartwatches, it’ll be a brave move by Meta to enter the fray. But with huge resources at its disposal, the company will be confident it can come up with a device to catch the attention of shoppers.
Digital Trends has reached out to Meta for more information about its reported smartwatch and we will update this article when we hear back.