Back in 2013, Google revealed one of their projects which was dubbed Project Loon. It wasn’t short for “loony”, but short for balloon which is what Google deployed in far-flung areas where internet access might not be so readily available.
Basically what these balloons do is provide internet access to hard to reach places through a small antenna which then communicates with a smaller antenna on the ground. It is a good idea and it seems that Facebook might be looking to give Google a run for their money with a similar project of their own.
According to the rumor as reported by TechCrunch, word has it that Facebook might be looking to acquire a company called Titan Aerospace, a company that makes near-orbital, solar-powered drones. These drones will be used, much like Project Loon, to provide internet access to various parts of the world, beginning with Africa.
As we said, these drones will be solar-powered and will charge themselves up during the day in order to remain operational at night. Apparently they will be durable enough to stay afloat without the need for landing for as long as five years, which presumably would make it easy when it comes to maintenance.
Assuming the rumors are true, it would be one of Facebook’s acquisitions that doesn’t directly impact the company’s services. For example the acquisition of Instagram and WhatsApp as these are services that could affect the company.
However with the acquisition of Titan Aerospace, its effect might not necessarily be immediate, but by providing internet access, it will also eventually lead to these users possibly signing up for Facebook and their other services in the process, thus reaching out to a market that they previously couldn’t.
What do you guys think? Do you think that Facebook could be thinking about giving Google’s Project Loon a run for its money?