Remember Google’s plan to provide Internet to the world via balloons? An ambitious plan, it relies on weather patterns to drift balloons along, effectively blanketing the world with a light internet signal. Facebook might be taking that theory a step further, as it’s rumored they’re in discussions to purchase a drone manufacturer.
The company in question is Titan Aerospace, and Facebook is said to be interested to the tune of $60 million. It’s also believed these drones will be a service for Zuckerberg’s Internet.org initiative, which is his (and by virtue, Facebook’s) aim at getting everyone on the planet connected.
The drones are solar powered, and can fly for as long as five years. Like Google’s balloons, the drones could provide an internet signal to a wide swath of land. Though not as strong a signal via a land-based connection, it would provide those in “need” with connectivity. Flying as high as 65,000, it’s possible we may never even see these drones.
If the aim was to be cooler than Google, Zuckerberg and friends succeeded. Drones are much cooler than balloons, but are they better? More to the point, will they work as imagined? Though plenty of regulatory hurdles need to be cleared by both companies, we may get our answer soon enough. For those in areas of the world with little or no connectivity, it’s a boon.
Source: The Wall Street Journal