Facebook is reportedly planning to launch a smartwatch next year that’s not only compatible with its own services, but also offers health features.
Facebook is reportedly working on its own smartwatch with plans to launch it next year. Although this is not the first hardware-based product to come from the company, its previous offerings have raised questions over privacy. Regardless of these user and industry reservations, Facebook appears to be intent on continuing to expand from software to hardware.
Facebook owns a number of companies, including some that specialize in hardware, such as Oculus. However, the company’s first proper self-branded hardware product was the Portal smart display. Boasting a camera that followed the user as they moved around the room, the device was designed to make it easier for Facebook users to communicate with each other over voice chat. Since then, the Portal line has expanded to include a “+” model, a “Mini” version, as well as a device that connects to the living room TV.
Now, it looks like Facebook is planning to move out of the home by attaching itself to the wrists of users, according to a new report by The Information. As to be expected, the device will be tightly integrated with the company’s many services, making it easy to message others. Also, as to be expected with a wearable, the Facebook smartwatch will “offer health and related features” which likely means some form of health data tracking is involved. The report does specifically point to compatibility with various third-party services, including Peloton, suggesting data-sharing between services as well. Adding to all of this, the wearable will be cellular-enabled, meaning it does not need to be connected to a smartphone. The new model is said to run on Android, but apparently Facebook has plans to follow up with a second-generation watch (possibly as early as 2023) that runs on its own operating system.
Would You Install Facebook On Your Wrist
Facebook has faced a number of trust hurdles in the past. While the 2016 election saw Facebook being accused of fueling misinformation, the company’s purchase of Instagram and WhatsApp have also come into question recently, and not for the first time. More generally speaking, users have become increasingly cautious of Facebook’s data collection practices overall. Only recently, the company has been very vocal about its dislike for Apple’s new App Privacy Labels, and its WhatsApp service came under immense pressure for a feature that seemed to require users to share some data with Facebook. The latter of which saw a number of WhatsApp users migrate to the likes of Signal and Telegram.
Facebook’s watch might not only be a device that physically attaches the company’s services to the user, but also one that will likely be capable of monitoring even more user data. Furthermore, since it is health-related data, some of the most sensitive of user data overall. With this in mind, it remains to be seen if a smartwatch is the right move for Facebook. On the one hand, Facebook has a massive user base and many may see the benefits of wearing a Facebook watch to keep in touch with friends and family, especially if they are already using a smartwatch for this purpose. On the other hand, there are probably many consumers who will automatically pass on a Facebook smartwatch, just because it is Facebook.
Source: The Information
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