Facebook Smartwatch incoming! Facebook is working on a smartwatch, but the company’s privacy track record could make it a dud.
In the last five years, smartwatches have gone from a niche gadget to the mainstream. Back in 2015, only gadget geeks and athletes seemed to have them. Today it’s another story.
In 2021, many people use the wrist computers for a swath of things, including monitoring their activity and their health, making contactless payments with ease, and even as a – shocker – timepiece.
The smartwatch’s popularity got a massive boost when Apple entered the market with the Apple Watch. It’s now not only the world’s best-selling smartwatch, but the world’s best-selling watch of ANY kind.
On the Android side of things, Google’s Fitbit and Samsung’s Galaxy watches are two of the most popular watches. But all of the above may soon see competition from another tech behemoth.
Facebook is rumored to be preparing to release its own smartwatch – and it’s said to have some features even the Apple Watch does not. The question is: will people be willing to wear it given Facebook’s horrible privacy track record?
Facebook Smartwatch: Design
Not a lot is known about the actual design of the Facebook smartwatch, but a new report from The Verge has lead to a few new tidbits of information. The Facebook smartwatch is rumored to have a detachable display, with a camera on the front and the back.
The idea with the dual camera Facebook smartwatch is that the front camera would allow you to make video calls via Facebook’s Messenger and WhatsApp platforms. This video calling feature is currently lacking on industry giants like the Apple Watch.
But as The Verge notes, the Facebook smartwatch is capable of having its display being detached. On the back of the detached display would be another camera, designed to record HD video much the same way smartphones do.
Facebook is reportedly working with third-parties to make accessories for the Facebook smartwatch and accommodate its detachable display design. The Verge says one accessory may be something that allows the detached display to be connected to things like backpacks.
The Facebook smartwatch is rumors to come in white, gold, or black.
Facebook Smartwatch: Features
Besides the video calling and detachable display with dual camera features, the first generation of the Facebook smartwatch is also said to be able to support LTE networks without being paired with a smartphone. That means you could get internet on the Facebook smartwatch without a phone.
However, that also means you’d need to sign up for another cellular subscription plan.
The Facebook smartwatch is also rumored to include a heart rate monitor, so it could measure your heart rate at rest or while active.
Besides this, nothing else is known about any features the Facebook smartwatch could have.
Facebook Smartwatch: Operating System
The Facebook smartwatch would run a custom version of Android, which is made by Google. It’s unknown if the custom Android OS will be branded as a Facebook OS.
The Facebook smartwatch will also run Facebook-branded apps. It’s unknown if Facebook would open the platform to this-party developers.
The Facebook smartwatch will also feature a smartphone companion app, likely for both Android and iOS phones.
Facebook Smartwatch: Privacy Concerns
The big question is – will people trust a Facebook smartwatch? Facebook has a pretty horrible track record when it comes to user privacy, and having a smartwatch that is made by the company with TWO cameras on your wrist and the ability to track location and health metrics…
Well, that seems like a big ask of people. Besides Facebook hasn’t seen much success with its hardware initiatives in the past.
Smartwatches collect some of the most personal data about you – so getting people to trust Facebook with a device that is always strapped to their body and is always monitoring them seems unsurmountable. But only time will tell.
Facebook Smartwatch: Cost
The Verge notes that Facebook could very well scrap its smartwatch project without ever releasing one. But if it does come out, Facebook is currently kicking around the idea that the Facebook smartwatch would cost about $400.
That puts it into Apple Watch territory. So then why wouldn’t you just buy an Apple Watch with its track record of stellar privacy protections, tons more features, and a health app ecosystem?
Only time will tell what customers will decide to do.