Facebook Is Secrectly Making The “Thing” That Google Failed – Project Ara

project ara
project ara

Short Bytes: Facebook has published a patent that details a “modular electromagnetic device” including hardware components that are mostly found in smartphones. It might be possible that the device described in the patent would be a modular smartphone or maybe some other hardware.

Facebook’s Building 8 is known for their crazy tech projects like mind reading and typing using brain which have mostly found a place in Sci-Fi movies and all. But the folks at Building 8 are also up to something that seems more realistic. Google tried to build something like that but things might haven’t worked out the way they wanted.

Business Insider has reported that Facebook is working on a “modular electromagnetic device” that could probably turn out to be a modular smartphone or a Bluetooth speaker. According to a patent recently published by the company, the modular electromagnetic device could include a microphone, touch display, GPS, speaker, and the functionality of a cellular phone.

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We can think of a modular device like a puzzle, where each piece is equipped with some functionality. And all we need to do is connect those piece to the main chassis and get the hardware working.

With their modular electromagnetic device, Facebook also wants to solve the problem of consumer electronics becoming “expensive and wasteful”. On an average, a smartphone gets outdated within a year or two.

facebook modular 1
Image: Facebook

If you can remember, Google’s ATAP division also worked on a modular smartphone that couldn’t see the day light. Ultimately, the plans were scrapped off. But there is something familiar and a surprising connection between the two projects.

Some important people from Google’s Project Ara team are now working with Building 8. Also, DARPA’s former director Regina Dugan, who leads Building 8, earlier headed Google’s ATAP group which working on Project Ara and Project Tango.

However, the patent application details the name of four employees who came to Facebook last year after the company bought a startup called Nascent Objects. The start-up prototyped modular gadgets using 3D printers.

You can read the patent using this link.

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