Google has acquired Titan Aerospace, a drone maker that Facebook was allegedly looking to buy as well.
Titan Aerospace creates high-altitude drones and Facebook was looking to purchase the company to aid its Internet.org projects that will use airborne drones to bring the internet to developing markets.
However, it looks like Google has beaten Mark Zuckerberg and the Facebook team to the post, acquiring Titan Aerospace to aid its own Project Loon.
“Titan Aerospace and Google share a profound optimism about the potential for technology to improve the world,” said Google to Mashable. “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. It’s why we’re so excited to welcome Titan Aerospace to the Google family.”
Google’s Project Loon isn’t dissimilar to Facebook’s Internet.org visions. The search engine giant is launching giant balloons into the air to bring the internet to remote or more inaccessible areas, starting with New Zealand last year.
There are also internet powered blimps that Google has been testing in small batches in Africa and Asia. It’s a project Google has been working on for over two years.
“It’s still early days for the technology we’re developing, and there are a lot of ways that we think we could help people, whether it’s providing internet connections in remote areas or helping monitor environmental damage like oil spills and deforestation,” said Titan Aerospace. “That’s why we couldn’t be more excited to learn from and work with our new colleagues as we continue our research, testing and design work as part of the Google family.”
The Titan Aerospace 20-man team will remain in New Mexico where it is based. Along with Project Loon, the small company is also tipped to be working on Google’s Makani project, which is currently working to create an airborne wind turbine.
Facebook apparently tried to purchase Titan Aerospace for $60 million (£35.9 million) around a month ago, but with no success. The financial details of Google’s deal haven’t been disclosed.
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