According to the Wall Street Journal, Google has just been confirmed to have acquired Titan Aerospace, a 2 year old start-up maker of high altitude drones. The same one that Facebook had been in talks with earlier this year. There is currently no mention of how much the search engine giant will pay for Titan but if Facebook?s previous talks are any indication, it should be upwards of $60 million.
Titan produces solar powered, high altitude drones and what use it may be for Google is still up in the air. People are free to speculate and some shudder at the thought that Google may be able to capture a lot more potential information from the skies.
Titan?s drones could fly around collecting real time, high resolution images around the globe. This means that there will be a great boost in supporting voice and data services. It also further boosts the potential of Google Maps? already vast wealth of data.
Although the possibility of Google collecting real time data is a deal breaker for some, there are also some really good tradeoffs that are worth considering. Google has mentioned that their new drone team will be working closely with an already established project called Project Loon. Project Loon is building large, high altitude balloons which send Internet signals to different areas of the planet that are not yet online. Think of it as enveloping the whole world in Wi-Fi. Imagine having potential Internet speeds of up to 1 gigabit per second in practically any place you go. The idea of the world being interconnected is absolutely fascinating.
There are also a few other uses that the drones can utilized for. These include data delivery, crop monitoring or even search and rescue aid. According to drone experts, the Titan drones can stay aloft for up to 5 whole years without having the need to refuel or even land, making it an invaluable resource for various research and applications.
There are a lot of possibilities that Google can use the Titan drones for and nothing is clear cut just yet. If used for gathering high resolution pictures, for example, some privacy concerns may start popping up, but the thought of worldwide WI-Fi is a good enough tradeoff. It?ll be exciting to see what Google puts into action.