No kidding, Meta is building earbuds with cameras for some reason

Meta wearable earbuds

The project currently goes by the name Camerabuds

Meta has been toying with the idea of developing new wearable devices, including earbuds enhanced with artificial intelligence and mini cameras.

The Mark Zuckerberg-founded company is in the early stages of developing an innovative headphone concept, internally known as Camerabuds, The Information reported. The earbuds would have similar AI capabilities as Meta’s Ray-Ban smart glasses, including the ability to translate foreign languages and identify surrounding objects—minus the lenses and frames.

According to the report, Zuckerberg has already been presented with several iterations of the potential new headphones; however, the design is still a work in progress. Battery life and heat are some of the biggest concerns Meta’s engineers are currently facing. Additionally, wearable devices with cameras present privacy issues for users. At the same time, there are questions around how the visual component would work if the sensors were blocked by, say, a person with long hair. There’s also no word on whether the hardware would be able to take photos or record videos like the aforementioned shades.

Considering Meta’s Camerabuds are still in the exploratory phase, it’s unclear whether the project will ultimately see the light of day. If you recall, the company’s much-talked-about smartwatch never quite came to fruition. Meta has since confirmed that a new version is in the works to accompany its next generation of smart eyewear, which is due in 2025. The Portal, which was discontinued in 2022, was another flop. The video-chatting smart display, formerly known as Facebook Portal, was nixed to cut costs.

If and when Meta’s so-called Camerabuds do hit the market, they’ll likely have to compete with future versions of Apple’s AirPods and AirPods Pro. Back in February, Bloomberg reported that the company was also kicking around the idea of incorporating low-resolution camera sensors into its earbuds. Apple also has plans for a slew of other AI-powered wearable devices, including a fitness ring with health-monitoring functionalities like the Apple Watch. In addition, there’s also an idea for smart glasses similar to Meta’s Ray-Ban spectacles.

Looking ahead, Zuckerberg said that Meta wants to churn out even more non-invasive wearable devices, including products that can interpret brain signals. “One of the things that I’m pretty excited about—I think we’ll start getting some consumer neural interfaces soon,” he said during an interview with streamer Roberto Nickson. “I think that’s going to be pretty wild.”

This story first appeared on Robb Report USA