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Facebook strengthens presence in Zurich

Facebook’s subsidiary in Zurich researches the future of virtual reality (VR) glasses. Now, the IT giant is planning to expand its Swiss team and work with the Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, say media reports.

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Image Credit: Facebook

A few weeks ago, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg unveiled the new virtual reality headset Oculus Go. Although users cannot yet use the standalone glasses to act autonomously in real life, that is the goal being worked on by researchers at Facebook’s Zurich site.  

Research work in Zurich is now set to intensify, according to an article  in “Handelszeitung”. There are plans to employ more skilled workers, with 14 positions already advertised – four of them specifically for further recruitment. At the same time, Facebook is in talks to expand its partnership with the Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETH).

Facebook currently employs 35 people in Zurich, according to “Handelszeitung”, but has office space for 60. “And as reliable sources have reported, Facebook plans to rent more office space should it become necessary,” writes the newspaper.   

“Oculus has a small but skilled research team in Zurich, which is helping develop the future of virtual reality,” a spokesperson told the newspaper. “With the Computer Vision Community in Europe, we are working closely with world-class teams from the ETH and the University of Zurich, and we are always on the lookout for the best talent that can help us explore new horizons.” The spokesperson did not comment on Facebook’s growth plans.

Facebook is not the only large American technology company to have a foothold in the Greater Zurich Area. For half a century, IBM has operated a research laboratory in Rüschlikon. Apple and Disney also have research and development sites in Zurich, while it is the location of Google’s biggest research and development operation outside the USA.

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