Regina DuganAsa Mathat


The company will join Facebook’s new top-secret hardware lab, Building 8.


Facebook has acquired Nascent Objects, a small Bay Area startup that offers what the company calls a “modular electronics platform” — essentially a software program to help expedite the process for building physical gadgets, including 3-D-printed hardware.

Nascent Objects will join Facebook’s Building 8, the company’s new top-secret hardware lab run by former Xoogler Regina Dugan, who used to run Google’s advanced technology and products team that did things like 3-D mapping and modular smartphones.

Here’s a short video Dugan posted Monday that provides a glimpse of what Nascent Objects does.



The “modular” element is interesting. The idea of a modular smartphone where you can easily add or remove different components like a camera or battery or storage has been kicked around for a while now but has never taken off. It’s unclear what Facebook wants to build, but Nascent Objects specializes in modular gadgets.

The other key seems to be expediting the time it takes to prototype hardware projects, which is also why Facebook recently built a new hardware lab on its Menlo Park, Calif., campus.

Facebook did not disclose the deal terms for the acquisition, but Nascent Objects founder and CEO Baback Elmieh is joining Facebook along with “other key members” of the startup, according to a FB spokesperson.