Facebook was reportedly set to acquire drone maker Titan Aerospace last month in a deal worth $60 million, but it appears Google had other plans.
Titan creates solar-powered drones that are capable of flying up to 65,000 feet for five years, all while transmitting Internet speeds up to 1 Gbps.
Its fleet seemed prime for Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s Internet.org initiative, a project that aims to help every human being get online.
According to The Wall Street Journal, Google bought Titan Aerospace for an undisclosed sum, which echoes the tech giant’s acquisition of robotics company Boston Dynamics back in December.
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It’s very likely that Google offered a better price, and potentially sweetened the deal considering its major focus in also making the Internet more available.
Similar to Internet.org, the company launched Project Loon over the Summer of 2013, starting with New Zealand.
Project Loon makes use of high-altitude weather balloons that can bounce 3G Internet speeds off one another, and to special receivers on the ground.
Launched initially with 30 balloons, Google plans on expanding the project to other countries such as Australia and Argentina.
With the purchase of Titan Aerospace, we could see an initiative such as Project Loon super-sized, and with significantly faster Internet speeds in some of the most remote locations on the planet.
Photo credit: FlightBots