According to Reuters, Meta will stop all development of its smart displays and fledgling Smartwatch project. The company’s executives reportedly told employees — those left after mass layoffs that saw 11,000 people lose their jobs — in a townhall meeting that it would end work on Portal. Meta used to sell Portal to consumers. However, sales did increase during the pandemic. The company changed their strategies and decided to sell them instead to businesses.
The Information reported that Portal was less than 1% of global market, despite an increase in sales in 2021. The company decided it was not worth the effort to pursue the consumer segment and has stopped developing the device. Andrew Bosworth, chief technology officer, told employees during the meeting that “it was just going to be so long, and require so many investments to get in the enterprise segment, it felt as though the wrong way to spend your time, and money.”
Although reports and leaks have been reported about the smartwatch over the years, Meta has yet not released it. Unless Meta decides to revisit the development of its smartwatch, we won’t be able to see it. Bosworth explained that the smartwatch company’s smartwatch team will now focus on its augmented reality glasses, and that half of Meta’s investment in Reality Labs goes towards its AR projects.
Portal’s demise was announced by executives. However, 54% of those laid off were in business roles, while the remaining 3% were in technology roles. Many employees with high performance ratings were also affected. According to executives, Meta will combine its voice- and video-calling unit with other messaging units, and it will form a new division for solving difficult engineering problems.
Reuters’ report doesn’t mention whether the executives have revealed when the Portal models will be phased-out or if they will continue selling them. It didn’t say when support for current devices would end. However, we have asked Meta for more information. We will update this post as soon as we hear more. Engadget recommends only products that have been reviewed by our editorial team. This is independent of our parent company. Some stories may contain affiliate links. Affiliate commissions may be earned if you buy through one of these links. All prices correct as of the time of publication.