Business Insider reports Facebook's Building 8 unit is working on at least four unannounced consumer hardware products. The author stresses these are not hobby projects and that Facebook is serious about becoming a leading hardware vendor, with the goal of selling millions of devices per year. It's an ambitious and hard move, but the social network is attracting a lot of high-profile talent to realize its dream of a big retail push.
Anonymous sources told Business Insider that Facebook is working on a consumer drone, a project involving cameras and augmented reality, and a brain-scanning technology:
Another project involves brain-scanning technology and is lead by a former John Hopkins neuroscientist who helped develop a mind-controlled prosthetic arm. Yet another project could have medical applications, as it’s led by an interventional cardiologist from Stanford with expertise in early-stage medical device development. The group is also planning to jumpstart a fifth unspecified project, and is currently looking for the right person to lead it.
Overseeing everything is Regina Dugan, the former DARPA executive who Facebook CEO Zuckerberg poached from Google’s advanced projects division last April.
While it sounds like science fiction, the technology is nothing new. Over the years, we've seen some consumer products that attempted to use brain wave headsets to let you control computers but these devices didn't go mainstream and quietly disappeared from the market because they were expensive and had limited functionality.