Facebook’s parent company Meta reportedly no longer plans to release glasses for AR in 2024, has canceled plans to release smart watches and will launch its video chat devices on the portal as business rather than consumer devices. The company said it still plans to release wearable wrist and goggles for AR.
Why it matters
The shift in business strategy means that consumers are likely to have to wait longer for these wearable devices, and this underscores some of the challenges Meta faces when spending billions of dollars on metaversion.
The parent company of Facebook Meta largely relies on metaversion, virtual worlds in which people want to work, play and socialize. But a number of reported product cancellations suggest that it will take some time for the bet to pay off.
Meta canceled plans to release its first version of augmented reality glasses in 2024 and will instead focus on a second version of the glasses, according to The Information, which quoted a note for both employees and people familiar with the matter. Meta is also suspending the development of a two-camera smart watch and opting to work on other wrist devices, Bloomberg said. In addition, the company plans to sell its video chat devices on the portal to companies with remote workers rather than consumers, reports said.
The delays mean that consumers are likely to have to wait longer than expected for home wearable Meta devices, and this highlights the challenges facing society as it focuses more on consumer devices. Wearable devices, such as smart watches and AR glasses, which have only just become as ubiquitous as smartphones, are key to how Meta expects people to enter the metaspace. Although Meta has created a multibillion-dollar advertising business and the largest social network in the world, it has no reputation for developing hardware like Apple or Samsung.
“A lot of it will depend on technology [Meta brings] market, but overall consumer acceptance will be driven by other companies, ”said Jeremy Goldman, director of marketing and retail briefings at Insider Intelligence. It is rumored that Apple is working onalthough analysts .
Meta chief technology officer Andrew Bosworth, who oversees the company’s hardware projects, said on Twitter on Thursday that Meta still plans to release hardware such as wearable wrist devices and AR goggles.
“The road to groundbreaking products is not straightforward,” he said tweet. “As is common in our industry, parallel and parallel, we move resources as we learn.”
Meta did not respond to a request for comment.
Here’s what you need to know about Meta’s efforts on consumer hardware.
What do glasses, smart watches and video chat devices have in common with metavers?
Years before Facebook changed its name to Meta, the company had already focused on what could come across the mobile Internet.
In 2014, the giant of social networks spent at least $ 2 billion on the purchase of virtual reality headset Oculus and talked about a future in which people will be able to experience great life events, such as the first steps of a baby, without being there in person.
However, creating a metaverse involves more than just putting on a VR headset and involves several ways in which people can enter and leave virtual worlds.
“You’ll go through that experience on a variety of devices – augmented reality glasses to stay in the physical world, virtual reality so you can be fully immersed, and phones and computers you can use from existing platforms,” said Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg . Founder’s letter published when the company announced the name change in October 2021.
What equipment did Meta release?
In addition to the release of VR headsets, Meta also has a number.
In 2021, the company released its first smart glasses in collaboration with Ray-Ban. Glasses allow people to take photos and videos as well as listen to music. Zuckerberg said at the time that smart glasses are “an important step towards the future, when phones will no longer be a central part of our lives.” However, they do not include augmented reality.
Meta has not publicly confirmed that it plans to release a smart watch in 2024, but Bloomberg said the product includes activity monitoring, music playback, messaging and a camera so users can take photos.
Last year, Meta demonstrated some of themwho could perceive your nerve signals and monitor your intentions. AND will demonstrate its VR headset, smart glasses and gaming video chat devices in May.
Do consumers buy these devices?
Meta has not revealed how many people use its VR headsets, smart glasses and video chat devices, but the company is losing money on its metaverse ambitions. Metaverse Reality Labs lost $ 2.96 billion to Meta in the first three months of this year, Meta said in a earnings report.
The Information said the research firm IDC estimates that video chat devices on the Meta portal account for less than 1% of the global market, behind Amazon Echo and Google Home. Consumers started shopping moreduring a pandemic, but not enough for gadgets to become mainstream. IDC estimates that the company delivered 600,000 portal devices in 2020 and 800,000 in 2021, a roughly 30% year-over-year increase.
In April, Zuckerberg told investors he did not think the metaverse business of the company would be profitable for a long time. He sees Meta’s investment in building these facilities as part of the foundations for the 1930s, when Zuckerberg expects VR and AR to be “more established as the primary computing platform.”
Why is Meta now postponing the release of some of these gadgets?
Bloomberg said the delay was probably due to Meta’s efforts to reduce costs. In May, Meta confirmed to Reuters that Bosworth had told employees that the company could no longer afford to do some projects and planned to postpone others.
Social media companies expect problems in accumulating money for advertising, which makes up the majority of their income. For example, the war in Ukraine has forced some advertisers to suspend advertising campaigns, and changes in Apple’s privacy have meant that advertisers need to do more to measure the effectiveness of their marketing, with less consumer data. Last year,This requires people to sign up for applications that collect their data, a move heavily criticized by Facebook, which has claimed that change will harm small businesses. Apple said the change gave users more control over their data.
Meta faces other challenges. The social network encourages people to post more videos because they compete with competing TikTok, but Meta doesn’t make as much money from advertising short videos as it does on other products.
“Meta has made it clear that it is now focusing on two main goals: Growing and monetizing short video and building part of the metaversion,” said Mike Proulx, vice president and chief research officer, Forrester. “The company’s movement around the Portal is just another signal that Meta is getting rid of everything that takes its resources from its northern star.”
Meta is not the only company on social networks that focuses on reducing costs. Snap, which also released consumer gadgets such as smart glasses and a selfie drone, lowered revenue and revenue expectations in the second quarter. In addition to its privacy feature, Apple Snap said it faces rising inflation and interest rates, supply chain shortages and other challenges. Meta, like Snap, also reportedly slows recruitment.