Facebook's smartwatch sounds weird and gimmicky, and we're all for it

Moto 360 with Facebook tick
(Image credit: Future / Shutterstock)

We've been hearing about the Facebook smartwatch for a few years now, at least from industry rumors and patents filed. The company has recently changed its name to Meta, but many still call it Facebook so we think it may keep that name for its upcoming wearable.

Each new rumor about the Facebook watch makes it sound weirder and weirder, and the latest one takes the cake. A patent recently published by the World Intellectual Property Organization, and spotted by GizChina, shows a watch with a detachable screen that has a camera mounted in it.

The idea would be you can take pictures at all different sorts of angles.

We're picturing a watch that looks somewhat like a locket with a top display layer that can spring off to stand at different angles and reveal a second one below. 

Apparently, the device has three cameras in total (yes, a smartwatch... with three cameras!) one of which can be removed completely, to act as a GoPro-like action cam.

Of course, as with all patents, we have to stipulate: just because a brand is patenting a particular design or feature, it doesn't mean the resulting product will resemble it in any way. 

A patent just indicates that a company is considering something. But in the case of the Facebook smartwatch, we really hope this is how it turns out. 

Opinion: The best possible thing

The watch shown in the patent sounds absolutely bonkers, especially when you consider the stale state of smartwatches nowadays. Nearly every such device looks identical, with the same looks and same size and same feature slate.

We haven't seen a truly novel wearable since the flexing Nubia Alpha.

That's why we want the Facebook smartwatch to be weird: we want something new. Even if the device is gimmicky and rubbish, it'll still be far more interesting to try out than your generic Wear OS device or Apple Watch knockoff.

The aforementioned Nubia Alpha wasn't amazing as a smartwatch - in fact, in some ways, it was rubbish - but it was still much more interesting for tech fans and gadget aficionados than half the other stuff on the market.

Not only did the Alpha have a strap that literally flexed around your wrist, it had a camera that could send pictures to your phone. Does a camera sound like a weird feature for a watch? Remember, the Facebook smartwatch is said to have three.

Three cameras sounds silly, but it also sounds fun, which is exactly what we're hoping the Facebook wearable will be like.

We don't have any clues as to when this rumored device could be made official - some reports point to the wide window of '2022', but we've heard previous murmurs which have proven to be wrong. We'll see it when we see it.

Tom Bedford

Tom Bedford was deputy phones editor on TechRadar until late 2022, having worked his way up from staff writer. Though he specialized in phones and tablets, he also took on other tech like electric scooters, smartwatches, fitness, mobile gaming and more. He is based in London, UK and now works for the entertainment site What To Watch.

He graduated in American Literature and Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia. Prior to working on TechRadar, he freelanced in tech, gaming and entertainment, and also spent many years working as a mixologist.