Sci-Fi Visions

Facebook successfully tests laser drones in UK skies

  • Developed by Ascenta, a Somerset-based designer of solar-powered dronesbought by Facebook in March 2014, the drones will be able to fly at altitudes of 60,000 feet for months at a time on solar power. They will have wingspans greater than 29m, or that of a Boeing 737, but weigh less than a car.
  • The drones form part of Facebook’s internet.org initiative that aims to connect the next billion people to the internet, creating new markets for the social network which already connects 1.39 billion monthly active users.
  • Google is also planning to provide internet access to non-connected areas using both high altitude balloons and drones, buying American drone firm Titan Aerospace in April last year. The two US technology firms are fighting it out to become the pipe and hub that serves both new users and an untapped resource for marketers.

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