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  • Google, already mapping our world and sending our texts and searching our Internet, is taking

  • its eyes to the skies. The tech company announced Monday that it's acquired Titan Aerospace,

  • a manufacturer of solar-powered drones.

  • It's the same drone company Facebook was eyeing last month. While Google did not disclose

  • Titan's price, Facebook was reportedly offering $60 million before moving on and purchasing

  • U.K. drone maker Ascenta for only $20 million. (Via Business Insider)

  • So what's so special about solar-powered drones? Well, Titan's drones could fly nonstop for

  • up to five years, much longer than commercial drone flights today. Its 3,000 solar panels

  • would charge up during the day and power on-board batteries for flight at night. (Via CleanTechnica)

  • According to Google, the buy is all about bringing aid and Internet connectivity to

  • the two-thirds of the planet still currently offline.

  • In a statement to The Wall Street Journal, Google says "It's still early days, but atmospheric

  • satellites could help bring internet access to millions of people, and help solve other

  • problems, including disaster relief and environmental damage like deforestation."

  • The company says Titan will work with Project Loon, an initiative hoping to bring Internet

  • to rural areas through high-altitude weather balloons. On its website, Titan claims it

  • can provide 1-gigabit speeds, faster even than most developed countries.

  • Beyond Loon, Google is expected to use Titan to greatly increase its Google Maps coverage

  • and even help with an airborne wind turbine project. That's a lot of innovative possibilities

  • for Google, but some aren't thrilled with the acquisition.

  • Gizmodo started its story, writing: "Google Bought a Drone Company, Which Isn't At All

  • Creepy, Nope" followed by a more serious take: "It's hard not to worry that, in addition

  • to connecting the world over, this means a lot more potential information at Google's

  • fingertips."

  • On the whole, the Titan buy could be just another move in Google and Facebook's battle

  • for fresh customers. The tech giants are fighting to be the so-called 'first point of contact'

  • for people without internet access, and Facebook reportedly has a similar plan to beam Internet

  • to rural communities with Ascenta.

  • Airborne Internet could be the future. As The Verge writes, "The major issue is cost

  • effectiveness: it usually takes land rights and construction to connect an area, and many

  • spots don't have enough users to justify the cost."

  • The news just the latest in the burgeoning industry of unmanned aircrafts. Last month

  • a federal judge struck down a ban on commercial drone use, and who could forget Amazon's much-hyped

  • delivery drone announcement?

  • With Facebook, Amazon and now Google entering the unmanned aircraft business, we'll wait

  • to see just who will win what you might call ... a game of drones.

Google, already mapping our world and sending our texts and searching our Internet, is taking

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グーグル、ドローンメーカーを買収、農村世界を繋げようと期待 (Google Buys Drone Maker, Hopes to Connect Rural World)

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    richardwang に公開 2021 年 01 月 14 日
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