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Facebook just bought a small hardware startup called Nascent Objects

The company will join Facebook’s new top-secret hardware lab, Building 8.

Regina Dugan
Asa Mathat

Facebook has acquired Nascent Objects, a small Bay Area startup that offers what the company calls a “modular electronics platform” — essentially a software program to help expedite the process for building physical gadgets, including 3-D-printed hardware.

Nascent Objects will join Facebook’s Building 8, the company’s new top-secret hardware lab run by former Xoogler Regina Dugan, who used to run Google’s advanced technology and products team that did things like 3-D mapping and modular smartphones.

Here’s a short video Dugan posted Monday that provides a glimpse of what Nascent Objects does.

Imagine designing, building and delivering a hardware product in just weeks. Instead of months, or even years. Nascent Objects, a 2016 FastCo Design ‘Innovation by Design’ finalist, has brought this closer to reality with their modular electronics platform. And they’re joining Facebook to work with us in Building 8. Together, we hope to create hardware at a speed that’s more like software. Welcome, Nascent Objects! Get a first glimpse here:

Опубликовано Regina Dugan 19 сентября 2016 г.

The “modular” element is interesting. The idea of a modular smartphone where you can easily add or remove different components like a camera or battery or storage has been kicked around for a while now but has never taken off. It’s unclear what Facebook wants to build, but Nascent Objects specializes in modular gadgets.

The other key seems to be expediting the time it takes to prototype hardware projects, which is also why Facebook recently built a new hardware lab on its Menlo Park, Calif., campus.

Facebook did not disclose the deal terms for the acquisition, but Nascent Objects founder and CEO Baback Elmieh is joining Facebook along with “other key members” of the startup, according to a FB spokesperson.

This article originally appeared on Recode.net.

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