Facebook’s rumored Android smartwatch might be even more ambitious than first thought. The Verge sources claim the Facebook watch will include two detachable cameras — to share photos and videos on the social network, of course.
The custom Android wristwear would reportedly center on a camera hub with one front sensor for video calling and a 1080p, autofocus-capable second camera that could capture photos and video when detached. Facebook wants people to use the watch the way they might use a smartphone today, according to the insiders. Third parties would build accessories to attach the camera hub to items like backpacks.
Accordingly, you might not need to pair the device with any phone. Facebook is said to be partnering with major US carriers to both offer LTE data and sell the watch in stores. There would also be a fitness angle, complete with a heart rate monitor.
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You might have to be patient. The Facebook watch wouldn’t be released until summer 2022, and the $400 target price could change. Future versions could control the company’s planned augmented reality glasses, the sources said.
Facebook has already declined to comment.
A watch sounds extreme, but it might make sense for Facebook. Company chief Mark Zuckerberg supposedly sees hardware like this as a way to get around Apple and Google, both of which effectively dictate Facebook’s ability to distribute apps and collect data. In theory, Facebook could “circumvent” these companies without worrying about restrictions like tighter privacy controls.
Facebook might not have high sales expectations for the watch despite this goal. It only expects to initially sell the Facebook units in the “low six figures,” the contacts said. The company doesn’t plan to topple the Apple Watch, Wear OS or other platforms, if that’s the case — rather, this would be a first foray that might lead to more hardware if it’s successful.