Facebook's Building 8: A secret unit that may be creating the next phone

Rafa Camargo, Richard Wooldridge and Blaise Bertrand were working at Google in May on a project called Ara, designed to be a Lego-like phone with modular parts, according to CNET. But the project was put on hold and now the three men are working for Facebook’s Building 8, a secret division of the social media giant that is hiring for positions that range from design to engineering to customer service.

In Menlo Park, California, Facebook Inc. created a research lab to develop hardware products and hired former Google executive Regina Dugan to lead the charge.

According to Facebook, Building 8 is “focused on building new hardware products to advance our mission of connecting the world. We bring together world-class experts to develop seemingly impossible products that define new categories. We drive innovation in augmented and virtual reality, artificial intelligence, connectivity and other important breakthrough areas. Our teams move fast, with aggressive and fixed timelines. We extensively create and leverage partnerships with universities, small and large businesses, and set clear objectives for shipping products at scale.

Facebook will create products that “advance our mission of connecting the world,” said Mark Zuckerberg, Chief Executive, in a Facebook post on April 13. “We'll be investing hundreds of people and hundreds of millions of dollars into this effort over the next few years. I'm excited to see breakthroughs on our 10-year roadmap in augmented and virtual reality, artificial intelligence, connectivity and other important areas.”

With open positions such that include hardware design, market development, product marketing, software engineering and more, Building 8 is still a bit ambiguous but it will be able to “develop and ship groundbreaking products at the intersection of hardware, software, and content,” according to job postings on the company’s website.

Within Building 8, Facebook is hiring heads of departments with experiences in industrial design, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, device software, applications and services, manufacturing, supply chain and even customer service. Seemingly, Facebook is creating a unit that could create a product from the concept to the customers.

“Building 8 is an opportunity to do what I love most,” said Dugan in a previous statement. “Tech infused with a sense of our humanity. Audacious science delivered at scale in products that feel almost magic. A little badass. And beautiful.”

Haley Velasco

Haley Velasco is a writer based in Chicago, IL, who has a background in PR for a sports media company and has reported on a variety of topics, including sports, opinion, politics and celebrity news. Based in the Windy City, she covers industry happenings in the Midwest and throughout North America. She has been reporting for The Drum since May 2016.

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