Facebook Meta smartwatch: A Connected Watch with removable screen and camera
Facebook (Meta) is developing an advanced Meta smartwatch with a rotating and detachable screen, including three cameras for AR and VR purposes.
Meta Platforms is known to many for the much-discussed social media platform Facebook. However, the activities extend beyond that. For example, it was announced last year that the company was also developing its own smartwatch. It promises to be a very special wearable with a removable screen and two cameras, which can be removed from the wrist to take photos and videos. You can then share it directly through apps like Facebook and Instagram, The Verge reported in mid-2021. The smartwatch is expected in summer 2022, according to the website.
A few months later, in October 2021, Bloomberg published a photo showing a Facebook smartwatch with a front camera. The image is taken from the Facebook View app, for controlling Facebook smart glasses – which was released in conjunction with Ray-Ban.
Today we bring new information about the expected Meta smartwatch. We came across a patent that describes a very advanced watch, with a removable screen, several cameras and many functions that we had never seen before in a smartwatch.
Facebook Meta smartwatch Watch with detachable screen
On June 24, 2021, Facebook Technologies – currently operating as Meta Platforms – filed a patent with the WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization) for a “detachable camera block for a wearable device”. The 49-page documentation was approved and published on January 13, 2022.
The full documentation describes a Meta Facebook smartwatch that the user can wear on their wrist. Two models are described. The first has a square display -similar to the photo published by Bloomberg-, the second has a round display. The functionality of both watches is largely the same.
It’s a smartwatch with a detachable screen. There are several cameras built into the screen – at least two, the documentation mostly assumes three cameras. Different types of lenses are used such as macro lens, telephoto lens, optical zoom lens and wide angle lens. By using multiple lenses, the user can easily adjust the camera’s field of view.
The Facebook smartwatch comes with a second screen, which also has multiple cameras – with different types of lenses. The second screen has the same form factor as the first. The user can easily detach the screen from the case. The case then remains on the user’s wrist with the strap. The display can be interchanged, but also used for AR/VR/MR purposes – more on that later.
The screen is held in place by magnets. The round model display is set to rotate – as shown in the figure below. Rotation can be clockwise and counterclockwise. The magnets should touch each other – so there are five fixed rotation positions. Squared watch go
It’s not a rotating bezel, like on the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Classic. Rotation has a completely different function with the Meta smartwatch because by rotating the screen, the user can easily select a different camera lens. The lens of the camera you want to use should be set to 12 o’clock. Other cameras are not usable at this time.
Facebook Meta smartwatch with multiple cameras for VR and AR apps
Cameras can of course be used to take photos and videos and then share them on social media. The camera also offers a solution for making video calls. However, Meta has bigger plans. The reason for implementing multiple cameras is mainly due to the possibilities it creates in the field of virtual reality, augmented reality and mixed reality.
The pair of detachable smartwatch displays with built-in cameras can also work with other VR/AR systems, such as a head-mounted display (HMD) or smart glasses.
Although Facebook has yet to release an AR headset, the company showed off a working prototype last year. This is a high-end helmet codenamed “Project Cambria”. At the time, Meta had already hinted that a future smartwatch could work as an input device for the headphones. It is possible that the two products will be released around the same time.
Additionally, AR glasses are featured in the patent documentation. We already know that Meta is also developing AR glasses under the code name “Project Nazaré“.
The watch is also equipped with the necessary sensors. The detailed description refers to heart rate sensor, body temperature sensor, infrared meter, motion sensor and activity recognition sensors. The connected watch can of course also be connected to a telephone.
It seems that Meta mainly wants to focus on AR and VR possibilities with its smartwatch. It also fits perfectly with the company’s motto to build a metaverse – a shared virtual world. This also explains why this Facebook smartwatch image was found in the AR smart glasses app.
Meta isn’t the only one involved in the development of an AR headset. The formidable competitor Apple also plans to release a Mixed Reality headset this year. Apple has of course been the market leader in smartwatches for years – of which the Apple Watch 7 is the latest model. It will therefore be interesting to see how Meta approaches this market, as a newcomer to the field of smartwatches.
Incidentally, there is another major American player that is about to enter the world of wearables. Google is also working on its own Pixel Watch. In 2019, Google also patented a smartwatch with a camera.
Competitor Samsung has also filed a patent application for a Galaxy Watch with a rotating display, as well as a rollable Galaxy smartwatch with a camera. Even US computer maker IBM seems to be exploring the possibilities of an IBM smartwatch that you can fold into a tablet – similar to the idea of the Oppo foldable smartwatch. All in all, we can expect a lot of innovations in wearables and smartwatches in the coming years.
Download the Documentation: Facebook smartwatch with rotatable and removable screen and camera