Facebook is working on its own Operating System (OS), a move to ensure it never ends up at the mercy of other tech heavyweights like Google, for the use of its Android OS.
The Information reported that the social networking company has put this task in the hands of Mark Lucovsky, a former Microsoft engineer who co-authored Windows NT.
Facebook previously explored this ambition, but only managed to build an unimpressive custom OS still based on Android, called Facebook Home. It was released on a HTC-produced phone in 2013, which flopped miserably.
This time, their own OS is going to be developed from scratch.
We’re all familiar with using Facebook as a social networking site, but what exactly does a Facebook OS mean for us?
Is Facebook Going Into The Business Of Smartphones?
Is this the first step for Facebook to start producing smartphones, like Google has done with its Pixel series?
Not quite. While it’s completely possible for the company to pursue this if they’d like to in the future, Facebook’s intention right now is to power its augmented reality and virtual reality (AR/VR) hardware.
This could include their Oculus VR headsets and Portal smart display devices, which both currently run on a modified version of Android.
Particularly, Facebook said their work will focus on developing “what’s needed for AR glasses”, which the firm talked about creating back in September.
Will Facebook’s Apps Become Exclusive To Their OS?
Considering that Facebook isn’t developing a smartphone along with their plans for their own OS, this won’t be a problem.
Facebook’s family of apps including Facebook, Instagram and Whatsapp will continue to be available on iOS and Android even when the company releases its own OS.
Other Things Facebook Is Working On
In the bigger picture, Facebook is doing more to improve their self-sufficiency.
“We really want to make sure the next generation has space for us,” said Andrew Bosworth, Facebook Head of AR/VR.
We don’t think we can trust the marketplace or competitors to ensure that’s the case. And so we’re gonna do it ourselves.Andrew Bosworth, Facebook Head of AR/VR
Besides their own OS, Facebook is also reportedly also developing its own version of a voice assistant to rival Siri, Google Assistant and Alexa (Facebook’s Portal currently comes with Alexa built-in).
They also have a grand vision to build a brain-computer interface that will let users control devices using nothing but their thoughts.
As surreal as it sounds, Facebook has already acquired a tech startup CTRL-Labs to help them fulfil this ambition.
They’ve so far made progress to compress the technology from the size of a refrigerator, into a device that can fit in your hand, but it will be at least five to 10 years before it materialises in a consumer product on the shelves.
Featured Image Credit: Vulcan Post