The most popular social portal Facebook is working on its operating system intending to reduce its reliance on Google’s Android operating system. Facebook wants to have its own OS to power its hardware dreams. It is already into the building of AR/VR headsets like Oculus and has even forayed into video calling devices like Portal. All this hardware currently uses Android OS.
The task of developing this OS from scratch has been entrusted to Mark Lucovsky who co-authored Microsoft’s OS called Windows NT. Andrew Bosworth, Facebook’s Vice President of Hardware said, “We really want to make sure the next generation has space for us. We don’t think we can trust the marketplace or competitors to ensure that’s the case. And so we’re gonna do it ourselves.”
The report further mentioned, “In Burlingame, California…, construction is underway on a 770,000-square-foot new campus, with the capacity for about 4,000 employees, that will be devoted entirely to a burgeoning Facebook group making new hardware.” Facebook has deployed dedicated teams to developing its custom silicon chips.
It is also believed that the social media giant is working on augmented reality glasses, which are in the early stage of development. It has teams working on its own custom silicon chips and a voice assistant. The reports of development of voice assistant powered by AI (Artificial Intelligence) is quite persistent and it is believed that Facebook is looking forward to competing with Google Assistant, Apple’s Siri and Amazon’s Alexa with it. According to some inside sources, Facebook has approached Microsoft to license data from its Bing search engine to train this virtual assistant.
All these efforts of Facebook aimed at being self-sufficient are commendable, but the question that is coming across in the minds of people is, ‘Can you really trust Facebook and the software it wants you to use?’ It is quite normal to have this question popping up after all the recent incidents of data leaks and dodgy data privacy policies that Facebook follows. After all these recent incidents, there is some serious sense of mistrust that has developed among the users of Facebook. They might not be comfortable using the Facebook’s operating system for their smartphones, virtual assistant, smart glasses, virtual reality headsets etc.
If Facebook really wants to compete with other big players, it will first have to rebuild the trust factor for sure.