According to a media report, Facebook could launch its own smartwatch in 2022. No less than four internal sources report that the new smartwatch from the social media giant id designed to work independently without being tethered to a smartphone.
- Launch planned for 2022
- Focus on social media and health
- Likely to be based on Android
This smartwatch is said to be based on Android and has a focus on tracking fitness and health data. While not confirmed yet, the device is likely to be based on Google's WearOS. There are no other technical details on this watch yet, but it's at least obvious that this wearable is likely to be tightly integrated not only with Facebook, but also with Instagram and WhatsApp.
While it seems likely that Android will be installed on the watch, we don't yet know whether Facebook will actually opt for Wear OS then, and whether they'd prefer to rely on their own OS instead of Android in later models. Until we have more facts, though, this is all speculation.
Give us your health data
The talk is that Facebook could offer this envisioned smartwatch for as low a price as possible, meaning it doesn't plan to really make much profit on this hardware, so the hard currency Facebook is eyeing seems to be not primarily the euro, but the information about us that could be grabbed via this wearable. Given Facebook's dependence on advertising revenue, it would only be logical to look at where it can secure that revenue independent of the smartphone.
It's common, of course, for smartwatches to track and process our health-related data. How many steps we take, how our heart reacts to stress, how well or poorly we sleep - all of this is essential data that every fitness tracker collects, so it's no surprise that the Facebook smartwatch is supposed to do the same.
However, Facebook being Facebook and having a long history of privacy lapses, there will naturally be a lot of scrutiny in this case. The fact that such a watch would be yet another way Facebook tracks our WhatsApp and Instagram activity is almost irrelevant next to the health data.
Would you want to use a Facebook smartwatch?
Normally, I always lean forward with a cold smile when it comes to new features and new hardware. I still use Facebook, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and Instagram despite all the bad news in the past.
But regardless of what I would do, I'm pretty sure Mark Zuckerberg and his people could hardly find a worse time to ask nicely for our health data with a product category like this. What's your take on this? Would you risk it and reach for such a smartwatch? Or do you trust the competition from Apple more?