It’s a small world after all, and it’s about to get even smaller. Facebook and Google are making moves to further connect all areas of the world. Rumors were swirling in early March that Facebook was reportedly interested in buying drone firm, Titan Aerospace.
Well, surprise, Mark Zuckerberg! Google beat you to the punch. Google has acquired Titan Aerospace, the drone startup. The acquisition comes after Facebook purchased a Titan Aerospace competitor, Ascenta.
Ascenta is a solar-powered drone maker and it will be used to further Facebook’s Internet.org initiative. A partnership between the social network and Nokia and Qualcomm, the project plans to bring Internet to the 5 million people who currently don’t have access.
Google’s latest acquisition is part of Project Loon. A similar initiative to Internet.org, with a vision to bring internet to the millions of people who still don’t have access. Currently, the project works with high-altitude balloons that provide Internet service to areas that lack such service.
Titan could also work with Google on another one of their projects, Makani. The Makani initiative is developing an airborne wind turbine.
The possibilities are endless with this new partnership. Using Titan’s drones to capture high-resolution images of Earth could help Google Maps collect data.
Titan Aerospace will remain located in New Mexico and will work closely with Google on Project Loon.
While, Facebook was reportedly going to pay $60 million for the drone company, the financial details of Google’s purchase have not been disclosed.
As Facebook forges forward with their plan, Mark Zuckerberg also introduced Connectivity Lab last month. The Connectivity Lab aims to use drones and lasers to accomplish the overall mission of providing online access to remote areas.
Both Facebook’s Ascenta and Google’s Titan Aerospace share similarities as companies and in the vision for how they will be used. While they have similar objectives, the success of each initiative depends on the technology. While, Facebook will use solar-powered drones and lasers, Google will rely on drones that cruise near the edge of the earth’s atmosphere to bring the developing world online.
Regardless of who accomplishes the mission first, it’s an exciting time in technology. Millions of people will discover endless possibilities and crucial resources with access to the Internet.