Meta abandons its Portal smart displays and smartwatch project after massive layoffs

Meta stops all development of its smart displays and fledgling smartwatch project, according to Reuters. The company’s executives reportedly told workers — those who left after massive layoffs that left 11,000 people out of their jobs — during a city council meeting that work on Portal would stop. Meta used to sell Portal to consumers, and the device enjoyed a surge in sales during the height of the pandemic, when people were forced to stay and work from home. However, the company changed strategies in June and decided to sell them to businesses instead.

The information reported at the time that Portal made up less than 1 percent of the global market, even with the revenue increase in 2021. It was probably no longer worth pursuing the consumer segment, and now the company has decided it’s not worth it. device to develop at all. Chief Technology Officer Andrew Bosworth reportedly told employees at the meeting, “It would just take so long and take so much investment to get into the business segment, it felt like the wrong way to invest your time and money.”

Meta has yet to release a smartwatch, although there have been reports and leaks about that particular pursuit over the years. Now we’ll never see it unless Meta decides to revisit the development years from now on. Bosworth said the smartwatch team will now work on the company’s augmented reality glasses and that half of Meta’s investment in Reality Labs will go to its AR projects.

In addition to announcing Portal’s passing, executives also revealed that 54 percent of the layoffs were in business positions, while the rest were technology positions. Teams across the organization were affected and even employees with high performance ratings were fired. Meta is combining its voice and video call unit with other messaging teams, the executives also announced, forming a new division to solve difficult technical problems.

ReutersThe report did not say whether the executives have revealed when the existing Portal models will be phased out and whether it will continue to sell them. There was also no mention of when support for current devices will end, but we’ve asked Meta for more information and will update this post when we hear more.

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