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April 14, 2016updated 05 Sep 2016 11:27am

Facebook hires Google exec to head new research lab

News: Facebook aims to develop hardware products based on its social networking platform at the new lab.

By CBR Staff Writer

Facebook has appointed ex-Google exec Regina Dugan to lead a new research and development lab, dubbed Building 8, which will design and build hardware products.

Regina Dugan has prior experience working at Alphabet, Google‘s parent company, and at Advanced Technology And Products (ATAP). Before working with Google, she worked with Darpa (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency), at thePentagon.

At the new lab, Facebook aims to create new hardware products based on its popular social media platform to advance its aim of connecting the world.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg mentioned Regina Dugan’s appointment on his Facebook page.

He said: "I’m excited to have Regina apply DARPA-style breakthrough development at the intersection of science and products to our mission.

"This method is characterised by aggressive, fixed timelines, extensive use of partnerships with universities, small and large businesses, and clear objectives for shipping products at scale."

The establishment of Building 8 is part of Facebook‘s 10 year strategy in which aims to see ‘breakthroughs’ in augmented and virtual reality, artificial intelligence, connectivity and other important areas.

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Facebook also has plans to improve connectivity to its Internet.org project in developing nations through ‘Building 8’, as mentioned by Facebook engineering vice-president, Jay Parikh.

Facebook is presently pursuing various projects under Internet.org such as increasing the number of antennas on urban cell towers to provide internet for suburban areas.

Another project which is Facebook is working on is Terragraph, an open-source technology that can provide fast WiFi connectivity in public areas. Such projects will be piloted by Facebook in Silicon Valley this year.

Zuckerberg said that Facebook will be investing hundreds of millions of dollars and employ hundreds of people in the next few years.

Regina Dugan also commented on her Facebook page saying: "Building 8 is an opportunity to do what I love most… tech infused with a sense of our humanity.

"Audacious science delivered at scale in products that feel almost magic. There is much to build at Facebook… and the mission is human… compelling."

 

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