The company no longer wants to rely on Android. The new operating system will run on Facebook’s own hardware.
With ever heavier investments in hardware, Facebook has now decided to build its own operating system. Currently, Facebook relies on Google’s operating system, Android.
– We want to make sure there is room for us in the next generation. We do not believe that we can trust the market or that our competitors make it so, says Andrew Bosworth, Facebook’s hardware manager, to technology site The Information.
Facebook has a product suite called Portal, which mainly consists of video call screens and has built-in digital assistants.
But with “the next generation,” Bosworth is probably talking about the company’s commitment to virtual and augmented reality. Facebook already owns Oculus, which builds VR equipment. Headsets like Oculus Rift and Quest are running with Android today.
But the social media giant is also thinking – just like Apple – of investing heavily on eyeglasses.
Futurist Amy Webb, who runs the Future Today Institute, has just named 2020 the year of the smart glasses (also called ar glasses). Swedish telecom company Ericsson, which knows one and the other about mobile technology, believes that eyeglasses will replace the smartphone in the next decade.
It is thus in such a world that Facebook considers itself to need its own operating system. A representative tells The Information that the company “is building a customized augmented reality operating system”.
The work on designing the operating system will be led by Mark Lucovsky, a former Microsoft engineer who helped create Windows NT.
The Information is also worth mentioning that the work on Facebook’s startling brain-to-computer interface is progressing. That is, the ability to control a computer simply by thinking. An engineer on Facebook states that the technology has shrunk from being big as a refrigerator to something that would fit in one hand. A Facebook representative says that “the focus of the work is on what is required for eyeglasses”.
However, as the Techcrunch site notes, it is important to point out that even though Facebook is now building its own operating system, the company’s apps will still be available for both Android and iOS.