Google has bought Titan Aerospace. Yes, you heard that correctly. The very same Titan Aerospace that Facebook wanted to acquire. Google have snatched the firm right from under Zuckerberg’s nose. Last month Facebook was allegedly in talks to buy Titan Aerospace for approximately $60 million. The disclosure of the amount that Google has paid is not public.
The WSJ has allegedly claimed Google want to boost their aerial technology, the company has consequently acquired Titan Aerospace, though the final purchase price has not been disclosed. This report further claimed that Titan Aerospace and its staff of 20 employees will stay in New Mexico, and Vern Raburn, chief executive officer, will continue to oversee the day to day running of the business.
We reported in early March about Facebook wanting to acquire Titan Aerospace for their latest purchase and TechCrunch reported that Facebook has planned to build 11,000 Solara 60 drones to offer Internet access in Africa. These drones would be classed as “atmospheric satellites” for monitoring weather, assisting in disaster recovery and offering communication capabilities.
If Facebook purchased Titan, it would see the social network rival Google’s Project Loon, which is aiming to offer Internet connectivity via air balloons. In addition to this, Facebook most probably wanted to further connect Africa, because of the newly acquired WhatsApp service.
Google however has seized Titan Aerospace first. The Wall Street Journal has said the Titan team would now work directly with Google’s Project Loon, thereby helping to build large, high-altitude balloons that send Internet signals to the offline world.
Titan’s drones are capable of collecting real-time, high-resolution images of the Earth. The technology also features atmospheric sensors and supports voice and data services. This also means Google could use them with Google Maps. The Titan team may also work with Google’s Makani project, developing airborne wind turbines for energy efficiency. I can see a future acquirement of Altaeros Energies may be in the pipeline, although the Makani project is similar, so who knows?
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[Image via unmannedsystemstechnology]