Facebook is developing a smartwatch that will focus on messaging and health functions, according to a new report from Information. Users will be able to send messages with Facebook services like Messenger and WhatsApp, and it will work with a cellular connection without a connected smartphone.
Health features will be included such as options to track workouts with friends or communicate with trainers, and the watch will be able to connect to services provided by health and fitness companies like Peloton. The upcoming Facebook watch is said to run a version of Google’s Android software.
Facebook plans to sell the smartwatch at a cost close to its production, which is also what it does with the Oculus headphones. It’s not known what the price will be, but competing products range in price from $ 150 to $ 400 +.
A smartwatch is unlikely to go well with those who have concerns about collecting data from Facebook. Amazon recently launched a “Halo” fitness band that has been derided for its invasiveness. Facebook already makes some consumer hardware products, including the aforementioned Oculus and Portal tablet and camera devices.
A Facebook smartwatch would have to compete with the Apple Watch, which is one of the best-selling wearable devices on the market. Just this morning, a report suggested that more than 100 million people around the world own an Apple Watch. Facebook is also working on its own Ray-Ban-branded smart glasses that would compete with Apple’s rumored products for years to come.
Facebook aims to start selling its smartwatch next year, with a second generation scheduled for 2023. Information says development is “well advanced” but there is always the possibility that the product will be scrapped.