Is Facebook working on secretly to design a modular smartphone? These days, the question is raising storms in teacups and in the absence of any official announcement, the answer seems to be shrouded in further mystery. As such, the rumor mills are least to be blamed for this development. A patent, which was applied for last year and approved just recently, has triggered all the tremor. According to news, the said patent revolves around a “modular electro-mechanical device” having interchangeable components.
According to a highly placed source at the patent office, the patent in question involves modules like a microphone, a speaker, a GPS and a display unit. Moreover, the patent also states, each module will have different functionality. Combining these two clauses, the grapevine has gone abuzz that the interchangeable modules can be combined to perform as a smartphone.
— Liliputing (@liliputingnews) July 21, 2017
It is relevant to mention here that Facebook has worked on new hardware gadgets earlier as well. In 2011, it combined with HTC to introduce a pair of mid-range mobile phones, namely HTC ChaCha (also known as HTC Status) and HTC Salsa. Then, in 2013, the two iconic brands of this ongoing digital age launched their first commercial mobile handset, called First. All these products received great reviews, both from experts and the market. Yet, for some unknown reasons, they could not create a mark as commercially successful products.
According to our sources at the patent office, the patent read, “The modular electromechanical device includes a chassis and a plurality of functional modules that can be connected to the chassis.” In this overall circumstance, in one of its most recent reports, Business Insider revealed, the techies working on the Facebook’s modular smartphone project have previously worked on Google’s Project Ara and are quite accustomed to ideating on such topics.
The ambitious Project Ara ran into repeated deadline delays and eventually, Google terminated it last year. Drawings submitted with Facebook’s patent application were strikingly similar to those involving Google Project Ara. So far, Facebook has not given any confirmation or denial about the report.