Facebook said to be building consumer smartwatch with health and wellness features

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Fb might quickly be throwing its hat into the well being and wellness wearables area. Based on a Feb. 12 report from The Info citing 4 nameless sources, the tech firm has been engaged on a smartwatch that would come with well being and wellness and different options for customers.

The Android-based system is alleged to incorporate a mobile connection in order that it may be used unbiased of a tethered smartphone. Unsurprisingly, the smartwatch would use Fb’s providers for messaging and different social options, however might additionally play good with the ecosystems of others within the well being and wellness area (the report known as out Peloton Interactive particularly).

Fb has not launched any statements or feedback relating to the report.

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WHY IT MATTERS

Fb has been trying to prolong past its social community and into {hardware} for the previous a number of years. It bought Oculus to get a head begin on digital actuality headsets in 2014 and in 2018 launched the primary of its Portal video chat-enabled good shows. The corporate additionally introduced Ray-Bans-branded good glasses that can be obtainable later within the 12 months and has been upfront about its work on an augmented actuality challenge known as Challenge Aria.

Fb is not fully new to tasks within the well being and wellness-related realm. Inside the final couple of years, the corporate has seemed to supply instruments that assist the community’s customers perceive when and the place to get well being checkups, backed personal communities for well being situation help and, over the previous 12 months particularly, grappled with COVID-19 misinformation spreading throughout its platforms (amidst no scarcity of criticism relating to these efforts).

Nonetheless, a deliberate step into well being and wellness monitoring could possibly be a tough tablet for a lot of customers to swallow. The corporate has a less-than-glowing popularity for knowledge assortment and monetization, which mixed with wearable sensors and repair integrations could possibly be a tricky promote among the many privacy-minded.

Whereas it is possible too early to take a position on selections reminiscent of rollout and pricing, it is value taking into account the route Fb’s taken not too long ago with its Oculus Quest 2 headset – a serious low cost on the worth tag in contrast with equal competitors, however necessary sign-ins and software program purchases straight tied to customers’ Fb accounts. The same method on the smartwatch entrance might set the corporate’s product aside for many who don’t have any qualms about how their knowledge is getting used.

THE LARGER TREND

Fb could be a late entrant to a shopper smartwatch market dominated by Apple. Alongside a slew of health and wellness options, Apple has additionally been a frontrunner on sensor-and-algorithm-based well being monitoring instruments like built-in ECG. Others like Samsung and Fitbit (now formally owned by Google) have additionally ramped up their manufacturers’ well being choices, whether or not that be with competing ECG options or in-app blood glucose monitoring help. And as regards to wearable-support well being and wellness ecosystems, each Fitbit and Apple have launched premium subscription providers that use knowledge from a smartwatch to help long-term well being monitoring and customized exercise content material.

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