Facebook buys Nascent Objects, acquires prototyping hardware

Facebook's purchase of Nascent Objects may tip off broader hardware ambitions.
Written by Larry Dignan, Contributor

Facebook has acquired prototyping startup Nascent Objects in a move that may presage broader hardware ambitions.


Nascent Objects announced the purchase on its website. The company developed a modular consumer electronics platform that utilized a small circuit board, 3D printing, and a modular design to prototype products quickly.

Now Facebook isn't known as a hardware company, but its Oculus virtual reality platform could branch out into more products. Today, Oculus partners with hardware companies.

It's worth noting what Nascent Objects was cooking up. Nascent had demonstrated a product called Droppler that would outline water usage and use some gamification to get you to change your habits.

As for the Nascent board, it was run by a dual-core mini computer with memory and wireless access. The board specs from Nascent went like this:

  • OS: Yocto Linux
  • Processor: 500 MHz
  • RAM: 1GB DDR3
  • Flash: 4GB
  • WiFi: 802.11 a/b/g/n Dual-band
  • Bluetooth 4.0
  • Languages: Node.js, C/C++
  • Size: 45mm x 28.5mm x 10.88mm

There are also modules for cameras, speakers, microphones, 3D orientation, infrared, proximity, gesture, as well as sensors for humidity, temperatures, altimeter and batteries. According to Nascent's specification page, modules for various battery sizes, drone motors, displays, and GPS were in the works.

Add it up and Nascent Objects will allow Facebook to try various form factors quickly, use its developer ecosystem to scale prototypes, and possibly extend its reach into more corners.

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