Google Buys Drone Company to Bring Internet to the Masses

Google Buys Drone Company to Bring Internet to the Masses

Titan Aerospace

Google's latest acquisition aims to spread internet access to the entire globe via solar-powered drones.

Google and Facebook have been competing in a software arms race for a while, but now that competition has spilled from the web to the skies. Last month saw Facebook acquire aerospace drone company Ascenta for a hefty sum of $20 million, hoping to use drones to deliver internet access to the two-thirds of the world that lack it. The social media company was also eyeing New Mexico-based Titan Aerospace, but it looks like it was too slow: Google snatched up Titan earlier today for an undisclosed price.

Titan Aerospace boss Vern Raburn will continue to direct operations, but now the drone company will be working on Google's Project Loon to create a global blanket of internet access. The planned drone network will be powered by wing-mounted solar panels to keep the devices flying for five years at a time, and will spread the Internet to webless regions at speeds as high as a gigabit per second - far above the average speed in the United States.

The drones will also be equipped with imaging technology, so Google could also be using this initiative to beef up services like Google Maps. "It's still early days for the technology we're developing," says a newly updated Titan Aerospace website, "and there are a lot of ways that we think we could help people, whether it's providing internet connections in remote areas or helping monitor environmental damage like oil spills and deforestation."

Operations are expected to begin as early as next year, bringing new regions online and conveniently seizing the new markets that those regions bring - for whichever company gets there first.

Source: Wall Street Journal, via CNET

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When did Lex Luthor purchase Google? And when will they unveil their line of jet-pack robot suits for the dangerous billionaire on the go?

A gig per second!? Sign me up!

I don't know what's worse to own a fleet of drones: The company that sells it's users info and tricks them into sharing private things or the company that seems to want to obliviously embrace all future tech, provide internet to the world and says they advocate privacy while being about as bad as the other company.

So they will cover the sky with these to offer the net to the masses?

Google has become much too intrusive for my taste. I'm not a fan of this mass integration, even less when a company with this kind of eagerness to know all about me wants to become a gatekeeper to internet access. This is a very voluntary big brother things I realize it's becoming archaic to avoid, but I avoid it when possible. IN a few decades it will make sense to kids that grow up never understanding the value of privacy in an age where twitter and facebook makes even the most private things about us public. I come from a period when the internet wasn't a necessity, it was merely a useful tool. There's really just so much of this that goes too far.

Um, what happens during a major storm or something? will all the drones get KO?

Though being solar powered is nice, means internet will never go down due to lack of fuel, but needing repair, or weather.

Orks da best:
Um, what happens during a major storm or something? will all the drones get KO?

Though being solar powered is nice, means internet will never go down due to lack of fuel, but needing repair, or weather.

The picture shows the drone flying above the cloudline, so when a storm comes it'll likely affect connection speeds but little else.

Sidmen:

Orks da best:
Um, what happens during a major storm or something? will all the drones get KO?

Though being solar powered is nice, means internet will never go down due to lack of fuel, but needing repair, or weather.

The picture shows the drone flying above the cloudline, so when a storm comes it'll likely affect connection speeds but little else.

Just because its above the clouds doesn't mean it isn't subject to the air current factors surrounding said storm. Turbulence can extend way above thunderstorm clouds, and some t-storms have been clocked at +50,000 feet in height so "flying above them" isn't always an option, nor is it guaranteed safe. Also, I'm not sure 100% but I'd venture a guess that connectivity wouldn't extend that far so flying above the clouds wouldn't help. I mean range is a factor, and a drone couldn't possibly harness enough power to broadcast that wide an area.

Imperioratorex Caprae:

Just because its above the clouds doesn't mean it isn't subject to the air current factors surrounding said storm. Turbulence can extend way above thunderstorm clouds, and some t-storms have been clocked at +50,000 feet in height so "flying above them" isn't always an option, nor is it guaranteed safe. Also, I'm not sure 100% but I'd venture a guess that connectivity wouldn't extend that far so flying above the clouds wouldn't help. I mean range is a factor, and a drone couldn't possibly harness enough power to broadcast that wide an area.

turbulence is a factor, but i think a lightweight drone with comptuer controls have much more chance of correct its course afterwards than an airliner that has to worry about Gs for passsengers. id be more vorried about weather damage to those solar panels.
as far as conenctivity, we got internet that connects directly to satelites. our cell phones connect directly to sattelites via GPS even, so conenctivity is possible, the question is, how fast.

This just sounds too intrusive, a privacy nightmare if anyone decides to turn the key.

So much for "Don't be Evil". This just screams "We're going full supervillain!"

So, Google, how's that Skynet program going, eh?

Internet coverage is nice and all, but droves of drones with cameras make me just a tiny bit paranoid.

I'm curious as to how you actually receive the connection.

Actually I'm quite excited about this. If it means an opportunity for there to be access everywhere without the need of wifi hotspots and reasoning to flip the bird to cell companies for overcharging and capping their data plans, I'm all for it. Google seems to be making all the moves of what you'd see a fictional evil corporation do but they don't come across as evil to me. Then again, maybe that's part of the plan.

Oh well, here's hoping for google's cell service to come up next.

Sooo.... Facebook buy's whatsapp (which is essentially a free app) for a couple billion dollars and google pays 20 mill for an aerospace drone company? Nice...

OT: We've got satellites that can monitor the earth 24/7 with high def camera's and people are now complaining that THIS is a privacy issue? Err... Yea. Sounds like a cool idea. Not to sure about keeping those drones flying for 5 years without maintenance. I also wonder about the price tag for this kind of internet.

Plus, I'm not expert but isn't shared bandwidth a bigger problem with wireless internet technology then with cables? Since you're essentially working on the same frequency and you've got a kind of queue in data transfer. A problem that is less significant with a physical cable. I could be blowing smoke out of my ass here. I'm not that IT savvy and I'm quoting something I read a few years back so... yea. Any IT savvy people that can comment?

Revnak:
When did Lex Luthor purchase Google? And when will they unveil their line of jet-pack robot suits for the dangerous billionaire on the go?

No no, see, if Lex Luthor did any of this stuff, he wouldn't tell anyone unless it involved a way to kill Superman, or steal forty cakes, or something like that. He's not really in it to make humanity better. He'd rather sit on world changing technology and blow it up if anyone ever discovers it. Whether on his own, or by having Superman fight it.

Luckily for all of us, Google has no one to fight. Except youtube users. But they don't need to devote billions just to piss them off like Luthor does to Superman. They just have to change stuff.

Why do they need drones to do this?

Google has become a cyber-punk corporation. Give it a year and they will have brought out Luxembourg or something.

waj9876:

Revnak:
When did Lex Luthor purchase Google? And when will they unveil their line of jet-pack robot suits for the dangerous billionaire on the go?

No no, see, if Lex Luthor did any of this stuff, he wouldn't tell anyone unless it involved a way to kill Superman, or steal forty cakes, or something like that. He's not really in it to make humanity better. He'd rather sit on world changing technology and blow it up if anyone ever discovers it. Whether on his own, or by having Superman fight it.

Luckily for all of us, Google has no one to fight. Except youtube users. But they don't need to devote billions just to piss them off like Luthor does to Superman. They just have to change stuff.

I don't know, having a small army of drones sounds like the perfect way to discover Superman's identity and strike him at his weakest, and Lex Luthor does make a habit of having his villainous schemes appear to be beneficial acts when he can't just pull them off in secret. Still waiting on the robot suits though.

 

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