Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, has reportedly halted the development of their smartwatch and has also decided to limit the release of their AR headset to developers. The two decisions are part of the company’s larger move to scale back their investments in their Reality Labs hardware and AR/VR division.
The smartwatch, codenamed Milan, has been in development for more than a year. It was rumoured to feature 2 cameras, a detachable display and a heart rate sensor. Facebook was also looking to incorporate electromyography (EMG), which would enable users to perform actions with simple wrist movements. These wrist actions could then be translated to actions in the company’s so-called metaverse.
Meta has reportedly stopped the development of the device, and told their employees that it is no longer on track for production. However, Meta is still working on other wrist-worn devices. For now, this smartwatch has been put on hold.
Along with this, the first version of their AR glasses project (codename Nazare) hit a bit of a snag as the company no longer wishes to commercially sell them. Instead, Meta will make them available to developers and early adopters, with the goal of encouraging them to build software AR experiences.
While the first version will not be available commercially, Meta is still expected to make the second version (codename Artemis) broadly available. It will have a less bulky design, more advanced display technology, and more importantly it will be cheaper.