Ex-Google Exec Regina Dugan Joins Facebook

Facebook shares, Regina Dugan, VR cameras, Building 8

The social networking giant has established a research lab and given the rein to former Google’s top executive

According to the most recent new, the social networking giant, Facebook Inc. has inaugurated a research lab for the development of the hardware products. The company has hired top executive of Alphabet Inc.’s Google who will lead the latest endeavor in an attempt to emphasize on the organization’s widening technology aspirations.

Former Pentagon research chief, Regina Dugan will lead the social networking giant’s new group, dubbed as Building 8. Back in 2012, Dr. Dugan had joined Google. Now, the genius will help the infant group to create the hardware products. CEO Mark Zuckerberg posted on Facebook on Wednesday that the hardware products will “advance our mission of connecting the world,” and the company is looking forward to invest “hundreds of people and hundreds of millions of dollars into this effort over the next few years.”

Through Building 8, the Menlo Park, Calif. firm will be able to achieve its 10-year strategic plan as sketched out by Mr. Zuckerberg at “annual F8 developer conference” which was held in the current week only. The U.S. social-networking leviathan’s Chief Technology Officer, Mike Schroepfer, cited that the plan includes the expansions in artificial intelligence relating to augmented and virtual reality and the probable extension of Internet access to billions of people globally.

Regina Dugan has a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from the California Institute of Technology. She was the first woman to lead the Pentagon research lab, dubbed as Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). She lead the division from 2009 to 2012 and then subsequently joined Motorola after which she joined Google’s division and provided assistance to the company to release Google’s Advanced Technology and Projects –a research lab established to develop innovative products.

Mr. Zuckerberg stated that he is hopeful that Dr. Dugan will apply her “DARPA style” expertise to the company’s mission. He said that the latest project demands aggressive working approach to meet fixed timelines and require congenial collaboration “with universities, small and large businesses, and clear objectives for shipping products at scale.”

Dugan’s Google’s team was responsible for dealing with short term projects having a maximum time limit of two years. It is different from the Alphabet Inc.’s ‘X’ –a division which is exclusively dedicated to the long term projects like delivery drones and self-driving cars.

At Building 8 –a name given for the number of letters in Facebook –Dr. Dugan will be involved in producing such hardware products which integrate the digital and physical worlds. Mr. Schroepfer envisions that Building 8 will be pivotal in providing assistance to the Facebook team working on the longer term projects, including but not limited to, Facebook’s Oculus virtual reality division –which has recently commenced the shipment of its first VR headset –and its artificial-intelligence research lab.

Mr. Schroepfer further added that initially the project has been commenced on a small scale however the company looks forward to make it grow. He said that the division is likely to ship product and will not be limited to research only.

Building 8 will design and manufacture the products in the similar fashion as company’s virtual-reality camera which is capable of filming 360-degree video. The company has no intentions of selling the camera however it will release the designs to other developers and companies in order to publicly encourage them to build VR cameras. This initiative will make it convenient for the developers to write VR content and will simultaneously boost the Silicon Valley social networking behemoth’s vision for technology.

The chief technology officer finally concluded: “There are things we need to do in the world that you can only really do with hardware, and you’ve got to kind of build them yourself –even if it’s just building the reference design for others.”


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