Facebook is taking a shot at modular smartphones following a newly submitted patent was revealed. In a critical bid to bring the ground breaking device into the hands of consumers, the social media giant is doubling down on hard work under the gun for this ambitious effort that made Google raise the white flag.
Facebook has disclosed Thursday a new patent application described as a "modular electromechanical device", a multi-hyphenate hardware that can function as a microphone, speaker, touch display, GPS, and phone. As a modular smartphone, its various components can be individually removed, replaced, or upgraded.
The said modular device was first filed in January 2016. Consumer electronics these days are usually thrown into the dustbin once they reach their wear and tear after a few years. But in the patent details, it is emphasised that the driving force behind the technology is to take advantage of the components' longevity.
"Typically, the hardware components included in the consumer electronics that are considered 'outdated' are still useable," reads the patent. "However, the hardware components can no longer be re-used since consumer electronics are designed as closed systems. From a consumer perspective, the life cycle of conventional consumer electronics is expensive and wasteful."
Google pioneered a similar endeavour named Project Ara several years ago. In 2016, Google reached a crisis with the modular phone, forcing the search giant to shut it down after years of hard work poured into it during the development phase.
It comes as no surprise that Facebook has decided to pursue such technology as many key members of Project Aura are now part of the Facebook's Building 8, the team behind the new patent application, reports Business Insider. Building 8 head Regina Dugan herself used to lead the working committee behind Project Aura.
Building 8 projects in the pipeline are deemed a quantum leap in the hardware technology space, including a brain reading device and one that can decode language through man's skin.