Project Ara «continued» on Facebook
Google is not only the most popular search engine and the company that develops the most common mobile operating system - Android. Her Soup - Nexus and Pixel - is also well known by users. Among the company's projects was such that, if realized, would completely change the picture of the smartphone. And maybe that Facebook will embody a new form factor in reality.
Facebook, it seems, is working on what worked previously Google - on the new form factor consumer device. More details on this interesting topic and its prospects were discussed Alex Heath (Alex Heath) in the pages of the resource Business Insider India. Published July 20, 2017 the company's patent application describes a "modular electromechanical device", which can be equipped with a speaker, microphone, GPS, and even function as a phone.
Modular consumer device will allow users to connect to the device, various components in the same way as is done in the constructor. Details will be able to connect and disconnect.
Subject modular smartphone has long been regarded in the industry. For example, Google has spent several years developing an ambitious modular smartphone as part of its Project Ara. Last year, work on the project was abruptly terminated, and users can only assume would look like implemented in the framework of this project a smartphone.
Coincidentally, many of the key employees of Google Project Ara team are now working to Facebook Building 8, team group, which is engaged in a new patent application. However, even though a patent application and said that work on the modular handheld device continues the topic has not yet become one of the unrealized page history of the industry, it does not mean that such a device will be released. And, of course, it is not a continuation of the Project Ara from Google, but it is quite possible for an entirely different concept, but based on the same core idea of modularity consumer device. Building 8 is a laboratory of Facebook, Develops consumer hardware, and is also working on futuristic projects such as the ability to enter the power of thought and understanding of the language through the skin. Four staff members listed as co-authors of the patent application, previously worked in the Nascent Objects, a startup that Facebook has bought in the past year. This startup is using 3D-press for the rapid prototyping of modular gadgets.
To date, it remains unclear what will be used by a new modular device, although, as reported further, "people close to the subject," saying that Building 8 has focused its efforts on the development of advanced camera technology and machine learning. Meanwhile, a representative of Facebook, which turned to the issue, did not comment on this topic.
Possibly, a new modular device can function either as a telephone or similar musical Amazon Alexa column as follows from the description of the patent. It is also noted that we are talking about "millions of devices" connected to the server, which can operate on the basis of various software and based on connect and disconnect components. Head of Building 8 on the presentation of new products Bernard Richardson (Bernard Richardson), is reported to have previously worked on a similar theme in the Amazon as part of Alexa speaker design.
By patent application Facebook are also attached sketch of the concept of a mysterious product.
It should be noted that in the history of the famous social network have already been attempts to create a smartphone. In 2013, Facebook in conjunction with HTC worked hard to create the phone, but the success of the project had not. Among the talents working in Building 8, - former employees of such companies as Apple, Google and the Motorola, that is, companies with experience in the development and delivery of millions of phones and tablets. This division also includes teams from reteylom and e-commerce sales of those gadgets that are created by the team. Whatever the result, Facebook or introduced from the D Building 8, the company seems to consider a modular system as more suitable to modern users than Soup form factor similar to iPhone, which are manufactured and sold today.
As noted in the patent application, which was originally formed in January 2016, usually many hardware components of modern devices, which are already considered to be "obsolete" is still good enough and could be used in the future. But they can not be used because the design of consumer electronics is not intended to replace a large part of its components. Thus, conventional electronics "life cycle" is costly and wasteful.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of modular smartphones?