Since Meta announced its name change, the road to the metaverse has been blocked frequently. Not only have there been several turbulences in personnel changes, but the development plans of various products have not been so smooth.
The development of a new VR/AR software operating system was stopped in early 2022. Not long ago, Bloomberg reported that the development of the camera-equipped smartwatch that had been exposed before has also stopped.
▲ Picture from: Unsplash
Judging from the previously exposed product prototypes, the most special feature of this smartwatch code-named Milan is the two cameras on the two bodies, a 5MP camera on the front, and a 12MP camera on the body. On the back, it fits snugly against the wearer's wrist.
Meta's original goal for the watch was to use electromyography and convert nerve signals into digital commands, which could be useful for gaming and virtual world experiences. But its features like activity tracking, cellular connectivity via eSIM, music playback, notifications and messaging, and a claimed 18 hours of battery life are all uncomplicated.
▲ Picture from: Bloomberg
Therefore, the development of the stop now is likely to be related to the camera at the bottom of the watch. It may interfere with the watch's ability to use electromyography and convert nerve signals into digital commands, or it may not allow the idea of taking pictures with the watch, which requires removing the watch first.
While the smartwatch won't be released next year as originally planned, Meta says it's still working on other wearables. It also said the change in development plans comes as the company faces cost-cutting and other big hardware jobs like smart glasses and AR headsets.
▲ Picture from: The Information
However, Meta's plans to release a series of smart AR glasses in the future are also not as expected. Originally Meta planned to launch Project Nazare smart AR glasses in 2024, but Nazare's role has now changed from a commercial product to a demo product, assisting developers with software development for the smart glasses.
Meanwhile, the focus of the smart glasses project has shifted to a second-generation product code-named Artemis, which is said to follow Nazare in a lighter, more advanced design two years later.
▲ Picture from: UploadVR
It is worth mentioning that in the development plan of the Meta change, not only VR/AR hardware, but also Portal smart devices are affected. Since its launch in 2018, the device has been less competitive in the market than products like Google Home and Amazon's Echo.
Perhaps that's why Meta decided to reposition the product as a business device that can be used for conference calls rather than a smart display device for consumers.
▲ Picture from: Meta
Perhaps the main reason for so many changes in Meta is the aforementioned cost reduction. Today, the company’s results in the Metaverse are not outstanding, but in the first quarter of 2022 alone, Meta’s Reality Labs lost $2.96 billion, and last year, Reality Labs lost more than $10 billion.
▲ Picture from: TechCrunch
In response to investor concerns about spending tens of billions of dollars on projects that have yet to pay off, the changes don't seem all that surprising.
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