Google Shutters Titan Internet Drone Project In Favor Of High-Altitude Loon Balloons
In early 2014, both Google and Facebook battled to acquire Titan Aerospace in an attempt to use its technologies to beam the Internet from the sky through the use of aerial drones. Ultimately, Google won, and has since worked hard to accomplish its initial goal. However, as we now learn, Google apparently doesn't see much success in the immediate future with this particular take on things, so it's pulling the plug on the entire project.
While this could be disappointing news, what makes it interesting is the fact that the project had actually been canned for a while. According to an Alphabet spokeswoman, Titan had been shut down in early 2016. It wasn't until a technology blog reported on the shuttering that the company finally decided to confirm the move.
The fortunate bit of news from this is that Google's other Internet-related project, called Loon, is still alive and well. This project will see literal balloons float above the Earth acting as Internet beacons, and is currently being worked on by Google's "X" (formally Google X) team.
With Loon, Google is racing Facebook's Aquila to the finish line high in the sky. Aquila suffered a setback last summer when one of its drones fell to the ground, sparking an investigation by the NTSB. Clearly, this kind of project is ambitious, but once the kinks are all worked out, either Loon or Aquila could prove to be one of the most useful technologies ever deployed. Most everyone reading this will be enjoying some sort of reliable Internet, but many around the globe are not so lucky. Loon and Aquila can remedy that.