After chatbots and 360-degree cameras, Facebook wants to build new hardware, the social network announced on Wednesday. And it’s getting a high-profile Google executive to help, hiring ex-DARPA head Regina Dugan, who was previously leading Google’s Advanced Technologies and Projects group (ATAP)—that’s the arm at Google currently developing Project Tango.
Facebook revealed Dugan will be part of a new initiative called Building 8, a nebulous group of individuals who will focus on developing “new hardware products to advance our mission of connecting the world.” These products, according to Facebook, will be powered by the social network’s own software and complement its work in AI and VR.
“We’ll be investing hundreds of people and hundreds of millions of dollars into this effort over time, and I’m excited to see the progress they make,” said Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
With a commitment to creating Facebook-powered hardware, the social network is going to be in a lot of places very quickly, and not just in smartphones and computers. First was VR, then it was high-flying internet drones. Who knows what’s next? Crazy AI? Spike Jonze’s Her is going to be here before you know it.
“I am on the one hand, tremendously excited. Building 8 is an opportunity to do what I love most… tech infused with a sense of our humanity,” Dugan said of her new role.”Audacious science delivered at scale in products that feel almost magic. A little badass. And beautiful. There is much to build at Facebook… and the mission is human… compelling.”