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Facebook Canceled the Watch You Wouldn’t Have Bought Anyway

Mark Zuckerberg's face on a smartwatch.
Frederic Legrand – COMEO/Shutterstock.com, Justin Duino

The “Facebook Watch” is no more. According to Reuters, nearly half of the company’s recent layoffs were to the company’s technology hardware development teams, which include the Portal smart display and the never-released Meta smartwatch.

First reported last year, the potential Facebook wearable never made it out of the design stage, although it was expected to be released as early as June 2022. The device reportedly would have come equipped with a heart rate monitor, messenger, and two cameras. The planned smartwatch was likely a way for Facebook to bypass increasing customer privacy restrictions on devices created by Apple and Google.

Meta has had a mixed track record when it comes to hardware. The company’s Portal smart display, which was shelved along with the smartwatch, was moderately successful but never generated the hoped-for revenue. Meta’s line of virtual reality headsets, Meta Quest, has seen high sales numbers but also some middling reviews.

Mashable reports that in the wake of recent layoffs, the teams responsible for developing Portal and the smartwatch will be reassigned to other hardware projects. According to Meta Chief Technology Officer Andrew Bosworth, those teams will find a new home developing the company’s upcoming augmented reality glasses.

Sources: Reuters, Mashable

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Danny Chadwick Danny Chadwick
Danny has been a technology journalist since 2008. He served as senior writer, as well as multimedia and home improvement editor at Top Ten Reviews until 2019. Since then, he has been a freelance contributor to Lifewire and ghostwriter for Fit Small Business. His work has also appeared on Laptop Mag, Tom’s Guide, and business.com. Read Full Bio »