Facebook has acquired Nascent Objects, fuelling thoughts that the company could continue the Ara modular smartphone production concept, which Google recenty abandoned. Established in California in 2014, Nascent Objects is a modular electronics platform company manufacturing hardware devices such as cameras and mini computers by using software programs, 3D printers and the like. It has come up with various prototype products whose components can be replaced with ease.
Some experts say that this acquisition is for Facebook to have a go at modular smartphone production Google has failed at. Google’s Project Ara to this end had started in 2012 but came to a halt in April this year. One of the reasons was the lack of ease of replacement of key components such as the CPU. Dr. Regina E. Dugan, one of the leaders of the project, moved to Facebook in April, too.
Nascent Objects will join the Building 8 Project led by Dr. Regina E. Dugan. The Building 8 Project is a Facebook R&D organization set up in April this year. Nascent Objects founder and CEO Baback Elmieh worked for the Google’s Advanced Technology and Projects (ATAP) group in the past as is the case with Dr. Regina E. Dugan. "Imagine designing, building and delivering a hardware product in just weeks. Instead of months, or even years," she wrote on her Facebook page on September 19, adding, "Together, we hope to create hardware at a speed that's more like software."
Facebook has declined to provide any comment on the Nascent Objects acquisition.