Facebook's Wi-Fi Drones Start Testing Next Year

By this stage, Facebook's plan to bring internet to the whole world with a fleet of drones and lasers is pretty well documented: what's a little vague has been the details — until now.

Speaking at the Social Good Summit in New York, Yael Maguire, the engineering director at Facebook Connectivity Lab, spilled a few details. The 'unmanned planes' (Facebook seems to be steering clear of the term 'drone', given what US-made drones are normally associated with doing over foreign soil) will be about the size of a 747, but far lighter, and solar-powered. In theory, that combination of huge wingspan (and, presumably, quite a few solar panels on top) will let the 'planes' fly more or less indefinitely, at high altitudes - 60,000 feet or more, in order to stay above the weather, and other aircraft.

In terms of timescale, Maguire wants a prototype aircraft flying sometime in 2015, with actual internet-beaming-goodness following in 3-5 years' time. As for who will actually deploy these things? That's still to be determined, in typical Silicon Valley solution: build the technology, and the market will create itself. [Mashable]

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DISCUSSION

never ending power supply. that's where it starts people. then they start falling from the sky and hitting people (man btw facebook drone.. hit me. sounds profitable.) and we'll think they are just breaking but really they are slowly attacking us.

we live in the golden age of more people than tech devices. or do we?