Media reported that Facebook is trying to develop its own operating system to reduce reliance on operating systems operated by Apple and Google and to promote the development of augmented reality (AR) headsets. “We are considering all options, including partnering with other companies to create a custom operating system designed for AR,” a spokesman said in a statement to Cnet on Monday.
(From: Oculus, via Cnet)
Some have speculated that Facebook is not just preparing for AR applications, such as AR glasses, wristband devices, or even smart machines, computers and other digital devices that can be controlled by brain waves.
But given that the company is always mired in privacy and security, it may not be easy to convince users that it won’t collect everyday data and use it for special purposes.
Andrew “Boz” Bosworth, Facebook’s head of hardware, told The Information that he wanted to provide space for the company’s next generation to grow, but wasn’t sure the market or competitors were on their own.
Facebook has previously clashed with the world’s largest operating system operator. In February, for example, Apple temporarily suspended Facebook’s corporate credentials for violating certain rules.
To be sure, the software it runs on on iPhones and iPads must be digitally signed with a certificate, which has a considerable impact on both Facebook and Google (employees use internal apps that are turned off as a result).
Facebook, which dominates social networking, has not given up on its hardware market in recent years. Oculus, a VR head-scratcher, has launched a video chat device called Portal.
Given the growing popularity of augmented apps such as Pokemon Go that combine real-world and virtual worlds in AR games, the company is clearly also hoping to introduce new AR effects such as Snapchat.
Facebook is reportedly working with sunglasses maker Luxottica to launch a Snapchat-like sunglasses and a more advanced, product item, codenamed Orion.
Of course, this isn’t the first time Facebook has tried to build its own operating system. In 2013, for example, it teamed up with HTC to launch a new phone that is said to feature a mobile operating system tailored to Google’s Android.