Reuters reports claim that Meta could discontinue Portal devices and scrap forthcoming wearables. Since Portal’s first release in 2018, Meta has released various models, the most recent of which, the Portal Go, was only released last year.
Companies have been hurting left and right as things slowly return to normal. Unfortunately, this has forced businesses to tighten their belts, with Meta dealing a significant blow this week by announcing the layoff of 11,000 staff. The smartwatch that was further along in development, codenamed “Milan,” was set to launch in spring 2023 for roughly $349 and contain two built-in cameras for video conversations.
In addition to layoffs, internal reports revealed that Portal might lose funding. Reuters also reported that Meta halted development on two smartwatches. These devices won’t be missed much; I’d forgotten about them until this report.
Portal devices let people interact via Facebook Messenger as well as WhatsApp. Alexa might make it a smart home hub. Thanks to its cameras, video calls were very good, and you could cover the camera with a slider. Even though the first reviews were positive, several people brought up privacy concerns, which I think hurt sales.
According to Reuters, nearly half (46%) of Meta’s 11,000 layoffs were in technology, citing executives who spoke at the town hall meeting. It is unknown how many of those worked directly in the hardware sector. Meta isn’t done producing hardware, but the majority of its other initiatives are in support of its AR and VR ambitions, including headsets like the Meta Quest Pro we just reviewed. However, Meta has yet to openly remark on this.