Your next phone could be a modular Facebook speaker phone.
Facebook’s secretive lab, Building 8, is considering developing modular smartphones, according to Business Insider. The company filed a patent that was just published, and it includes details about a “modular electromagnetic device”. The patent described this device as both a phone and a smart speaker, but it's unclear right now as to whether Facebook is actually combining them into one hardware project.
But we doe know that Building 8's director, Regina Dugan, was previously head of Google’s Advanced Technology and Projects (ATAP) group, which notably developed the Project Ara modular phone. In fact, many Project Ara team members now work there. Meanwhile, Building 8's head of new product introduction, Bernard Richardson, has a history with smart speakers, having worked on Amazon’s Echo speaker.
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So, is Facebook working on some Frankenstein device that's both a Project Ara-like modular smartphone and an Amazon Echo-like smart speaker? It's hard to say, but the company told Business Insider that its patent was developed by former members of Nascent Objects, a startup that it acquired last year, which primarily worked on modular electronics. Curiouser and curiouser.