Facebook smartwatch could feature removable display with cameras, heart rate monitor

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Facebook's rumored smartwatch, part of a plan to circumvent Apple's App Store and Google Play, may feature a heart rate monitor and a display with a pair of removable cameras.

Rumors that Facebook was developing an Apple Watch competitor first surfaced earlier in 2021. A new report from The Verge on Wednesday suggests that the Facebook watch could feature a display with cameras that can be detached and used to take and share images directly on the company's suite of apps.

According to The Verge, one of the cameras will be used primarily for video calling, while a second could feature 1080p resolution and would be primarily used for capturing video footage when detached from the smartwatch.

Sources familiar with the watch's development said the goal is to encourage people to use the Facebook watch in ways similar to smartphones. The device would run a custom version of Android and feature LTE connectivity. Facebook is also tapping companies to create accessories for the watch.

Later iterations of the watch could also be used as a primary input device for a Facebook-branded pair of augmented reality glasses.

Facebook is reportedly mulling pricing the device at about $400 and is targeting a release date in 2022. It could be available in white, black, and gold. Nothing about the device has been finalized — the smartwatch has yet to be given a name or enter the mass production phase.

While Facebook is expecting sales in the "low six figures," the smartwatch is part of a broader plan to build consumer devices that allow the company to skirt Apple's App Store and Google Play.

Apple, in particular, has taken numerous steps to cut off the flow of data from Apple devices to data harvesters like Facebook. The social media company, for example, has claimed that Apple's recent App Tracking Transparency feature could cut advertising revenue by as much as 60%.

Facebook has seen a fair share of data scandals and controversies about how it handles user information, which could prove to be an obstacle in convincing consumers to buy a Facebook smartwatch.

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