Meta Halts Development of Smartwatch Carrying Dual Cameras; Plans to Continue Focus on Wrist Wearables: Report
Facebook parent Meta Platforms has halted the development of its first smartwatch carrying dual cameras, according to a report. The smartwatch, said to have codenamed Milan, could have rivalled the Apple Watch with its large display and features including activity tracking, music playback, and messaging. However, unlike the Apple Watch, the device that Meta was reportedly developing for at least two years would offer dual cameras as a key differentiator. One camera would be available below the display, while the other one is said to be on the backside against the wearer’s wrist to let users quickly capture shots by removing the watch face from its strap.
Although Meta has not officially commented on the matter, the ongoing cost cutting is likely to be a key reason for the decision to cease the development. The company last month also slowed down its hiring and froze fresh recruitments for the year as some of the other measures to reduce cost burdens.
Bloomberg has shared an image showing the front and back of a prototype of the smartwatch. The second camera on the device is said to have caused issues with a feature that was aimed to translate nerve signals from the wrist into digital commands, which is technically called electromyography (EMG).
In a blog post last year, Meta talked about its smartwatch prototype and indicated that the EMG feature could particularly be used to consider the wrist as a controller for augmented reality (AR) experiences. The prototype was in testing by Meta’s Reality Labs division.
Bloomberg’s report notes that Meta executives discussed the potential of smartwatches as part of its plans to build metaverse, which essentially provides an immersive space where people can interact with others using digital avatars.
In October, Bloomberg published an article about the said smartwatch by Meta alongside showing its render that appeared within the company’s app for controlling its smart glasses.
The news agency at the time suggested that the smartwatch would debut in 2022. However, the latest report mentions that the original target for the release of the device was set for spring 2023. It was planned to be available with a price tag of $349 (roughly Rs. 27,100), according to the report.
Although Meta is said to have discontinued the development of its dual-camera smartwatch, it reportedly still has plans to use some of its features in future products.
The smartwatch is said to have included a gold-coloured casing that had two buttons on one side and dual cameras with a 5-megapixel sensor available at the front and a 12-megapixel one at the back. It is also said to have Wi-Fi, GPS, and eSIM support.
Further, the smartwatch is reported to have apps to access Spotify, WhatsApp, and Instagram Stories as well as features such as daily activity tracking, workouts, photo gallery, heart rate monitoring, calendar, and breathing. It is suggested to have 18 hours of battery life and include a notification centre and lock screen.
Meta did not include an app store on the smartwatch for downloading apps, though users would manage apps and features on the devices using their Facebook account, the report said.
Users are also said to have the ability to post their fitness activities and achievements to Facebook and Instagram directly from the device.
Fitbit to Discontinue Support for Music Transfer From Computers This Fall
Fitbit is putting an end to Fitbit Connect app, soon leaving the users unable to transfer music from their computer to a Fitbit device. The Fitbit owners will soon lose the company’s service to transfer music files to their Fitbit device.
In their statement on the Help page, Fitbit stated that they are discontinuing their Fitbit Connect app on October 13. However, the company has also given two options to users to download music to their devices. “You can continue to play personal music stored on your watch and transfer music to your watch with the Deezer app and Pandora app,” the statement read.
In the FAQs related to the discontinuation of the Fitbit Connect app, the company has elaborated that users can undertake a 90-day trial of Deezer or Pandora before subscribing to their paid services for downloading music to their Fitbit devices in the future.
Meanwhile, Fitbit users in the US can download the Pandora app to listen to music. The feature is supported in the Fitbit Ionic, Fitbit Sense, and Fitbit Versa series (except Fitbit Versa Lite Edition). To download music from the app, one will need a paid subscription and a working Wi-Fi connection.
Fitbit Connect is a companion app for Mac and Windows computers that lets you sync fitness data between devices and transfer music to legacy Fitbit devices. The phasing out of the software on desktop is also evident from the fact that the company no longer recommends Fitbit Connect on its setup page.
LG Tone Free T90, T60 With 9 Hours of Battery Life, ANC Unveiled: All Details
LG Tone Free earbuds 2022 lineup has been unveiled along with some specifications by the South Korean company. The lineup includes Tone Free T90, T60, TF7, and TF8. The true wireless stereo (TWS) earbuds are going to be rolled out starting late-August, according to LG Electronics. The Tone Free T90 TWS earbuds are this year’s flagship earphones from the company, and they feature up to 9 hours of battery life with Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) off and a IPX4 rating for water and sweat resistance.
The South Korean tech giant, LG Electronics, has not revealed the prices for any of the above mentioned four TWS earbuds so far. Although the company is yet to reveal a definite launch timeline, it has announced that it will start rolling out the TWS earbuds in major markets globally in late-August. As previously mentioned, the company revealed some specifications of the LG Tone Free T90, T60, TF7, and TF8 earbuds.
LG Tone Free T90, T60, TF7, TF8 specifications
According to the company, the LG Tone Free T90 will be 2022’s flagship TWS earbuds offering from LG Electronics. It features a new internal structure with larger dynamic driver to help the earphones generate deeper and more satisfying bass, according to LG Electronics. The Tone Free T90 uses graphene, a material that is said to reduce vibrations. The earbuds also use Meridian Headphone Spatial Processing (HSP). The technology is said to enable the Tone Free T90 to offer a consistent tonal balance at a given volume.
LG Tone Free T90 TWS earbuds also feature Dolby Atmos with support for Dolby Head Tracking technology across all content. The company claims that the Tone Free T90 earbuds are the first wireless earbuds to feature an audio virtualiser designed by Dolby. They also support the Snapdragon Sound Technology Suite 1. It is said to offer 24-bit/96kHz resolution audio. The ANC technology on the Tone Free T90 gets the Double Step ANC Algorithm and Real Time ANC Optimiser. The Tone Free T90 feature a three mic + VPU setup. The eabuds support wireless charging. Both, Tone Free T90 and T60, feature IPX4 rating for water resistance.
The design of the upcoming earbuds’ has been created by LG Electronics in collaboration with POSTECH Ergonomic Design Technology Lab. The four TWS earbuds are said to be smaller and lighter in weight. The company said that the “Performance Fit” ensures the right positioning of the earbuds inside wearer’s ears. LG Tone Free T90 and T60 get the UVnano charging case, which offer a wider coverage by sterilising all parts of the ear gels. They also sport the Plug and Wireless feature that is said to enable the charging case to also work as a Bluetooth transmitter. The package will include a USB Type-C and an auxiliary cable as well.
LG Tone Free T90 and T60 are claimed to offer up to 9 hours of battery life with the ANC off. The charging cases of the two are claimed to come with up to 20 hours of battery life with ANC off. The quick charge feature on the Tone Free T90 and T60 TWS earbuds enables them to be completely charged after about an hour in the UVnano charging case.
Meanwhile, LG Tone Free Fit TF7 and TF8 feature a three-microphone setup. They also get the Median Sound technology and ANC. Both these earbuds models will also get UVnano charging cases. The earbuds are said to be designed for active lifestyles, and hence, they feature the SwivelGrip technology.
The Tone Free Fit earbuds also support fast charging. The Tone Free Fit TF8 and TF7 are claimed to offer up to 10 hours of battery life with ANC off, and the charging cases are said to come with up to 20 hours of battery life with ANC off. Both the TWS earbuds models from LG Electronics get a IP67 rating for dust and water resistance. The Tone Free Fit TF8 TWS earbuds also feature Plug and Wireless technology.
Apple Watch Series 8 Design, Colour Options Tipped: All Details
Apple Watch Series 8 has been tipped to feature the same design as its predecessor, the Apple Watch Series 7. A tipster has shared the expected colour options for the company’s rumoured next-generation wearable device. The leak specifically refers to the base variant of the Apple Watch Series 8. It is also said to feature four aluminium colour options and two stainless steel colour options. According to the tipster, who cites an unnamed source, no new sensors were noticeable on the smartwatch. A recent report had suggested that the Apple Watch Series 8 could support a ‘fever detection’ feature.
Tipster ShrimpApplePro (@VNchocoTaco) has leaked details regarding the base variant of the rumoured Apple Watch Series 8. According to the tipster, the wearable will feature a design similar to the previous generation smartwatch form Apple. It is said to feature Midnight, Starlight, Product Red, Silver colour options in aluminium. It could also get Silver and Graphite colour options for the stainless steel version, the tipster added.
Apple Watch Series 8 leak
Note: the info is about the base series 8 only. No info abt the higher version atm
— ShrimpApplePro ???? (@VNchocoTaco) August 5, 2022
The base variant of the Apple Watch Series 8 will not be available in a titanium model, according to the tipster, who also notes that their source was unable to visually notice any new sensors on the rumoured smartwatch series from Apple. Additionally, the tipster has also shared that the box of the Apple Watch Series 8 will get a new seal with stronger glue. This is said to prevent retailers and from repackaging the smartwatch. It is said to enter mass production this month.
Apple Watch Series 8 will reportedly sport the largest display that the tech giant has placed on a wearable. As per the report, the Watch Series 8 could be called the Apple Watch Pro. The report also added that it could be the first major redesign for an Apple Watch since 2018. This claim has been purportedly refuted by tipster ShrimpApplePro.
According to a recent report, the Apple Watch Series 8 could feature a body temperature sensor that can reportedly detect if a user has fever. It is said to recommend wearers to see doctor or use a dedicated thermometer. The report added that the feature might not display the exact temperature like a traditional thermometer.
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