In a latest patent that was approved today, Oct 18th 2016, one can find some elements of the hardware ambitions of Facebook. What is interesting is that the patent inventor is none other than Mark Zuckerberg himself.
The Patent was originally filed on July 6, 2015 and was approved today. Patent D769,294 claims the ornamental design for a display panel of a programmed computer system with a graphical user interface.
Facebook’s hardware ambition is no longer a mystery but has been rather widely publicized over the last few months. The company has reportedly set up a “Area 404” where it intends to prototype its solar drones, Internet-beaming lasers, VR headsets, and next-gen servers.
Quite frankly, the company is already in the hardware business after its acquisition of Oculus, the VR product.
Jay Parikh from Facebook explained at a media event in Aug, the significance behind launching Area 404.
The two main objectives for Area 404:
- To create a collaboration space big enough to get hardware engineers from across the company together in person to work on shared problems
- To build a state-of-the-art hardware laboratory with the equipment necessary to prototype and fail test the early designs of Facebook’s forthcoming gadgets.
Looking at this latest approved patent, it appears to be a design of some sort of a hand held tablet that can be used by users of the Facebook community.
It is hard to understand the need behind such a device since most devices out there let you engage with Facebook apps today. Perhaps the company might be thinking of delivering certain unique services that can be accessed via their own tablet.
One could also guess that Facebook is trying to build some sort of a device that will require higher processing capacity than what is available out there today to meet VR/AR Social Network needs. In any case, much like with so many other patents, this seems to be mysterious and may or may not become a viable product.
What is interesting is that Facebook is really serious about jumping into the hardware bandwagon.
A new competitor to Apple?