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Facebook is exploring a device with interchangeable parts that could be used as  smartphone and speaker. Photo: Pradeep Gaur/Mint
Facebook is exploring a device with interchangeable parts that could be used as smartphone and speaker. Photo: Pradeep Gaur/Mint

A Facebook smartphone? Patent filing raises intriguing possibilities

Facebook is exploring a device with interchangeable parts that could be used as a smartphone or a speaker, says a report

New Delhi: A patent application by Facebook reveals that the company is exploring a device with interchangeable parts that could be used as a smartphone or a speaker, says a report in The Telegraph.

The patent has been filed at the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

The modules in the patent include a speaker, a microphone, a GPS and a touch screen for a device that could function as a speaker, a phone or a GPS tracking device, added the report.

Most smartphones have few replaceable components, but modular technology allows users to update the phone in parts, rather than upgrading to the latest device. The patent, filed in 2016, shows a main chassis and a series of modules that would be made using 3D printing. The device would change its function by downloading new software depending on the modules it is using, added the report.

Facebook patent revealed the design, similar to Google’s modular smartphone Project Ara, which was delayed and ultimately abandoned in 2016. Several former members of Google’s Project Ara team now work for Facebook at Building 8, according to Business Insider.

Building 8 is Facebook’s consumer hardware lab, where the team is working on futuristic projects like the ability to type with your mind and understand language through your skin, added the report.

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