Facebook is reportedly building a smartwatch with a focus on health and messaging features, according to a new report from The Information.
Unsurprisingly, one core aspect of the watch will be social features. So, users will be able to send quick messages easily through the company’s platforms, such as Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram.
Another feature is health tracker. Users will be able to do workouts with friends or communicate with a trainer. Facebook reportedly has plans to connect with other fitness devices, like Peleton’s smart stationary bikes.
The watch will be powered by Android but it’s still unclear whether the software will be Google’s WearOS or some kind of proprietary software, The Information report said.
The smartwatch will include a direct cellular connection, like pricier models of Apple Watch and Samsung Galaxy Watch models.
This watch will join Facebook’s growing list of hardware devices including Oculus VR, its video-calling devices including Portal TV, Portal, Portal+, and Portal Mini.
In recent years, the social media giant has pushed further into hardware with its Oculus VR headsets and Portal video-streaming devices, hoping it can become less dependent on other dominant hardware makers.
Now with its foray into smartwatches, the company will be forced to face tech giants like Apple, which leads the pack with around 55% of global smartwatch sales, Samsung, and Google, which acquired Fitbit.
Still, the company hopes its new smartwatch will make it less dependent on Apple and Google, whose operating systems power most of the world’s mobile devices.
Facebook said the price for its new smartwatch will be at near to cost. Pricing will be unveiled at the time of release and a second model will be developed to be released in 2023.
Back in September, Facebook announced its partnership with Ray-Ban, and revealed that it will be developing and releasing the Ray-Ban branded smart glasses in 2021.