Meta, for those times Facebook, has been working on the project of several smart watches for a long time which, together with smartglasses, intended to substantially expand the company’s hardware catalog, currently made up of Portal devices and Oculus virtual reality viewers. An interesting bet that, however, due to the company’s conflicting history with regard to security and privacy, met with some resistance.
We learned about this project in February of last year and a few months later a lot of information was leaked about the first device that, in principle, would reach the market. This leak coincided in time with the name change of Facebook to Meta, a moment in which many analysts thought that the “punishment” of ostracizing the social network, within the company itself, could play in favor of other products and projects, such as the wearables. The absolute focus fell, of course, on the Metaverse, but still the prospects for hardware projects were good.
However, a year after that, Meta’s excessive commitment to the Metaverse has taken a huge toll on technology. And it is that the accounts do not come out, the Metaverse does not finish attracting users and there are many voices that have expressed their reservations during all this time. Investors, logically, have responded forcefully to this situation and, as we told you a few weeks ago, Meta has collapsed on the stock market. And even more curves are coming, since Meta itself recognizes that your 2023 numbers regarding the Metaverse will be even worse than this year. It’s not that it’s going to rain on wet, it’s that it’s probably going to pour.
Impact? Well, Twitter’s layoffs have been a topic of conversation for days (and not only because of their enormous volume, but also because of how poorly they have been managed), but the truth is that Meta is also facing a massive layoff, of around 13% of its workforce, around 11,000 workers. And, as published by the Reuters Agency, the company’s hardware projects are going to feel that blow especially hard. Specifically, according to a meeting with employees cited by the news agency, Meta closes the Portal business unit and cancels work on smartwatch projects.
There were two projects that were in development in terms of smartwatches, one that was still in the early stages, but also another, the one that was leaked in October last year, which was already in a much more advanced design phase. , and which initially aimed to reach the market in 2022, but which would later have been moved to 2023. Now, with the abandonment of this business unit, both clocks finally stay in the inkwelland we do not expect renewals of Portal devices either.
Meta keeps, however, the Metaverse at the epicenter of his plans. Whether this is a hit or a miss we will only know for sure in the future. But, at the moment, it seems too daring a decision and one that could end up with the company if it does not manage to straighten its accounts. Something for which, paradoxically for his plans, he cannot count on the Metaverse, at least in the short term.