Facebook's next attempt at hardware may be a smartwatch

A report suggests Facebook's first watch could go on sale next year.

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Richard Lawler
February 12th, 2021
Happy runner with earbuds checking smart watch
Pheelings Media via Getty Images

Facebook's past forays into hardware have had mixed results, ranging from well-regarded Oculus VR headsets to an ill-fated phone tie-up with HTC. Now The Information cites anonymous sources saying the company will try again with a smartwatch that includes a built-in cellular connection. The report claims an initial version could arrive next year powered by an open-source version of Android, with a follow-up in 2023, all in service of trying to control the next computing platform after smartphones.

Of course, it's unclear whether that effort will work -- seen anyone using a Portal lately? -- especially considering the privacy issues around Facebook and looming investigations by regulators. Other than the obvious links with Facebook services, the device reportedly focus on fitness and health information, adding a social element similar to other apps like Strava. It may even tie into third-party platforms like Peloton, although it's unclear why users or other companies would prefer to deepen their links with Facebook based on wristwear as opposed to watch platforms from Apple, Samsung or Google.

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