I have constant access to the internet and it’s easy to take for granted. I have 4G signal that seems to work just about anywhere in London. If I can’t use my phone for some reason, I can always find a cafe nearby that will have internet access for my laptop. This is a privilege and something the majority of the world doesn’t experience. Google is no stranger when it comes to bringing the internet to remote areas. With Project Loon they hope that balloons hanging at the edge of space will make the world more connected. A report from The Guardian suggests Google is now also experimenting with solar-powered drones and new wireless technologies as part of a secretive Project SkyBender.
Public records reveal that Google is hiring 15,000 square feet of hanger space at Spaceport America in New Mexico in order to test various drones for Project SkyBender. The drones include the Aurora’ Centaur and assets from Google’s acquisition of Titan Aerospace. Most interesting is that the report claims Google is experimenting with millimetre wave technology, which could be capable of transferring data 40 times faster than current 4G wireless networks. Millimetre waves will be difficult to work with as they have very short range compared to other wireless signals already in use. Unless Google plan on flying drones around our heads, they’ll need to come up with a solution that can focus transmissions to improve their range.
Should we praising Google for making the world more connected? Or is it no surprise that a company which profits from people browsing and searching is hoping to get more people online? Either way, I like drones and I like fast internet speeds. I’m eager to see what they have in store for us.
Main image © Google Titan Aerospace