The Wall Street Journal has just confirmed that Google will be purchasing Titan Aerospace, the same high-altitude drone startup that Facebook had been in talks with earlier this year.
While we can't be sure yet what Google plans to do with its new high-flying toys, 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.
Google has said that their new drone team will get to business with the already established Project Loon, which plans to shoot high-altitude balloons off into the stratosphere to cover the world in a blanket of Wi-Fi. According to the Wall Street Journal, there's also potential for Titan to work with "another early-stage Google project that is developing an airborne wind turbine that it hopes will generate energy more efficiently."
Then comes the (potentially) creepy part; Titan's drones will run around collecting "real-time, high-resolution images of the Earth" in addition to supporting voice and data services. Which means major boons to its Google Maps division's already staggering wealth of information. The tradeoff? Potential internet speeds of up to 1 gigabit per second virtually anywhere you go.
Of course, this isn't Google's first foray into the world of smaller robotics firms. This newest acquisition brings its number up to 13. What's more, these aren't your consumer-size quadcopters we're talkin'. Titan is in the process of developing two "dragonfly-shaped" drones, the smaller of which is just a touch bigger than a Boeing 767.
Google and Google products (many of which are extremely useful!) already pervade what feels like every aspect of our lives, but if Titan's acquisition is anything to go by, this is just the beginning. [Wall Street Journal]