Facebook’s secretive Building 8 division is advertising for a retail manager to design “disruptive” experiences for selling Facebook consumer hardware.
The job listing, which was previously reported by Business Insider, hints that Facebook has bigger ambitions for consumer hardware, pitting it against established hardware players like Apple and Alphabet, as well as upstarts like Snap, which introduced a set of digital photo-glasses called Spectacles last year.
This does not necessarily mean that Facebook is considering building its own stores — it may simply be looking to create better experiences for retail partners such as Best Buy, which carries the Facebook Oculus Rift virtual reality headset.
Today, Facebook’s only notable consumer hardware product is the Oculus Rift.
But according to Business Insider and other reports, Facebook’s Building 8 is experimenting with drones and augmented reality — a catch-all term for superimposing computer-generated images on real-world camera images.
Augmented reality can exist on a smartphone, like the Pokemon Go game on smartphones, or on standalone devices like Microsoft’s HoloLens or the devices reportedly being designed by start-up Magic Leap. Apple is also reported to be planning a major augmented reality push for the iPhone 8 later this year.
Facebook launched Building 8, its experimental projects lab, last year, and hired former DARPA director Regina Dugan away from Google to run it.