Meta Platforms Inc., the parent company of Facebook, has stopped developing a smartwatch with dual cameras and is working instead on other wrist-worn devices, according to a source familiar with the matter.
In addition to activity tracking, music playback, and messaging features common to other smartwatches, this device has been developing for at least two years.
Dual cameras are one of the key differentiators of the now-halted device from market leaders such as the Apple Watch.
According to images and video of a prototype seen by Bloomberg, one camera was located below the display, and another was positioned against the wearer’s wrist.
Users could quickly take pictures for the second camera by removing the watch face from its strap. An additional feature to translate nerve signals from the wrist into digital commands was also affected by the camera, the person said.
Electromyography, a type of technical ability, is a top priority for Meta.
It has been proposed that electromyography can be used to control other devices in the metaverse by using a person’s hands. Earlier this year, Meta published a blog post stating,
“This is about decoding those signals at the wrist – the actions you’ve already decided to take – and translating them into digital commands for your device.”
In Meta’s plans for the so-called metaverse, users will interact with other users through virtual avatars, and executives have talked about the potential of smartwatches.
With the help of wrist devices, users can control their avatars or interact with augmented reality content they see-through augmented reality glasses.
Meta declined to comment on the matter.
The source said that the company also informed employees that it wouldn’t sell a version of its AR glasses that have been developing for three years. The company is now focusing on a later version of these AR glasses, which will eventually be sold commercially. According to previous reports, Meta has changed its glasses strategy.