Report: Facebook is Expanding into Hardware

After dominating the social media world, Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB) is reportedly ready to expand into hardware.

Details are sketchy at this point, but here’s what we do know. Approximately a year ago, a number of Facebook’s top employees were quietly assigned to a new project.

The project, dubbed Building 8, began work on as many as four different items. Nobody is sure exactly what these four products are, but sources are saying they’re all pieces of hardware. Possible products include everything from advanced cameras to virtual reality devices to even something that could scan a user’s brain. There are also reports Building 8 is working on a futuristic drone.

At this point, nobody really knows when any of these new hardware devices will be ready to hit the market, but an update may be coming next month at Facebook’s developer conference. Last year, CEO Mark Zuckerberg used the conference to give his long-term vision for Facebook, paving the way for the event to feature major announcements.

There are no reports on how much Facebook is spending on Building 8, but insiders do say the company is serious about the project. Facebook spent $5.9 billion on research and development in 2016.

The move into hardware could be a risky one for Facebook. The company will be outside of its comfort zone for the first time, up against stiff competition. Competing against Apple, Google, and Samsung is no easy task.

If Facebook releases a piece of hardware that flops, it faces the danger of damaging its existing brand. But if it can be successful, it would make an already dominant tech giant even more impressive.