Inside Facebook’s new “Area 404” hardware lab

Yesterday TechCrunch had the chance to tour
Facebook’s brand new Hardware lab ‘Area 404’. Facebook needed a place to build it’s solar
drones, Internet lasers, and VR headsets. Located at the company’s California headquarters,
it’s named ‘Area 404’ — the computer code for ‘not found’ — because Facebook engineers
couldn’t find a place to build their gadget prototypes. What will be built here? Oculus will prototype future version of the
Rift headset and the Surround 360 camera. Data infrastructure like Facebook’s open
rack network switch Wedge as well as part for the Project ARIES antenna and Aquila solar-powered
drone . With so much hardware on its 10-year roadmap,
it makes sense to build a dedicated laboratory. Now Facebook will be able to build new servers,
satellite dishes and other gizmos much faster. The futuristic white lab is filled with huge,
expensive, and dangerous machines for cutting and bending metal. In fact, Area 404 is so dangerous Facebook
won’t let Mark Zuckerburg in.

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