Facebook has decided to explore the possibility of designing its own operating system to power Augmented Reality. This strategy redefines Facebook’s vision to set itself free from the dependence on Google’s Android OS.
This move will ensure that the social network giant will have its “individual identity” and “space” in the next generation of technologies. Surely, this decision is geared by the company’s lack of trust in its competitors or the marketplace for the next generation of its hardware. The focus of the development efforts lies in meeting the requirements of its AR glasses. Facebook revealed that it is currently exploring all possibilities of partnerships with other companies as well. But by creating its own OS, Facebook will find it harder to spin out some of its past acquisitions.
Having to rely on OS built by some of the top rivals such as Apple and Google has always been a pain point for the social network. In the past, Facebook tried evading itself against the dominance of the mobile OS by building the Oxygen project that would assist it in distributing the Android apps outside the Google Play store should the need arise.
In the past couple of years, Facebook has been continuously diversifying into more than just a social networking platform. In 2012, Facebook acquired Instagram, followed by purchasing WhatsApp in 2014. Facebook has also invested in equipment, entertainment, and payment services. Facebook has hyped these acquisitions as a means of staying connected through the social network. However, Facebook confirms the adoption of these strategies has been strong enough for the second-generation models of Portal devices. Facebook’s Portal competes with both Google Nest smart screens and Amazon Echo Show. This can also sync with Facebook, WhatsApp, and Messenger.
Facebook is also planning to build a true retail space into its Burlingame office, where users will purchase its hardware products. This is a significant step towards the development of self-branded Facebook retail spaces in the mold of the Apple and Microsoft stores. In spite of the slow sales in Oculus and Portal hardware, the conversations regarding how seriously Facebook is taking its hardware development efforts are heating up. The social network is also concentrating on hardware experiences for the enterprise market. Facebook is prototyping a virtual reality video conferencing system that is undergoing tests by the Facebook team. Facebook’s hardware project feeds back to its core ad business. The company can mine data on what people do with their Portal devices and Oculus headsets to leverage this data to target end-users with ads.
Seeing all these efforts made by Facebook, there is no doubt that the competition between all these tech-giants is getting intense. The industry is going to witness a revolution with Facebook launching its new Operating System. With the dependency that Facebook has on Google getting reduced, a series of more exciting strategies are expected to be initiated by Google and Apple.