Facebook owner Meta Platforms scrapped production of a new smartwatch, earmarked to launch in 2023, despite being in the works for more than two years, Bloomberg reported.
According to Bloomberg, the wearable prototype was being developed by Meta’s Reality Labs division and featured a removable watch face, with one 5-megapixel camera located below the display and a 12-megapixel camera on the back against the wearer’s wrist.
The dual-camera set-up was intended to be key differentiator from rival smartwatches, such as the Apple Watch. Codenamed Milan, the device also featured standard smartwatch features including messaging, music playback, activity tracking and heart rate monitoring.
Bloomberg reported the now-binned device was expected to be released by spring 2023 for a price of around $349.
AR and the metaverse
Meta, however, is still actively working on other wrist devices. In March 2021, the company revealed in a blog post its efforts to develop an Augmented Reality (AR) wrist wearable designed to serve as an interface with virtual environments using commands from users’ nerve signals.
The tech giant has also previously explored the prospect of incorporating smartwatches into the metaverse. Sensors within wrist wearables have the potential for users to control their digital avatars and interact with virtual environments viewed through AR glasses, according to the company.
Cost cuts across Meta have likely influenced the company’s decision to suspend Milan project, added the report. In April, Meta executives announced a decrease in company expenses by $3 billion in 2022 following a general downturn in business.