A new report has finally shunned some light on Facebook’s ambitious hardware project. The efforts are being led by former DARPA director Regina Dugan and Facebook is apparently developing modular smartphones. The company has also filed for a patent that details a modular electromagnetic device that will eventually eliminate the havoc created by wasteful electronics that are displayed by consumers. The scope of the patent extends to both smart speaker and a smartphone.
All of the Facebook’s hardware efforts are concentrated in the company’s Building 8 group. In fact, Dugan herself was in charge of Google’s Advanced Technology and Projects a.k.a Project Ara. We are all aware of how Project Ara was scrapped by Google after the pilot test. Dugan and her team are apparently working on outlandish ideas including the one where brain-computer interfaces allow people to type with their thoughts. Facebook has also hired Bernard Richardson from the Amazon Echo speaker team.
The bottom line is that Facebook has hired quite a few ex Project Ara team members and the company has also confirmed the reports that the patent was developed by former members of Nascent Objects, a modular electronics company that Facebook had acquired last year. Furthermore, the team is also concentrating on developing camera technology and machine learning as well.
According to the patent, the device can function as both a phone and an Alexa-like device. The patent also describes how the devices could be connected to a central server and load based on software based on the components used. This further strengthens the case for modular phones. Modular phones seem to be the future after all and the stakeholders are trying to overcome the limitations they are facing in implementing this idea. The modular phones make a strong case for themselves especially after considering the e-waste scenario.