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Facebook seeks patent for a modular device

Could Facebook be trying to succeed where Google's Project Ara has so far failed?


The prototype of Google's Project Ara modular phone.

Sean Hollister/CNET

Modular phones sound like a great idea: Add the bits you want to custom-build your own dream smartphone. So far, however, Google's Project Ara and LG haven't managed to make them work. Perhaps Facebook could give it a go next, as the social network attempts to patent a modular device.

Business Insider spotted the new patent application, published Thursday, for a "modular electromechanical device" chassis. Modules, such as a speaker, microphone, touch display or GPS, could then be attached.

The patent application comes from Facebook's forward-thinking Building 8 team, which is looking at possible hardware-related directions for the company.

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