With the technology sector increasingly focused on the billions of people in the world without access to the Internet, interest in drone technology as a solution has increased dramatically in recent years.
Already, private citizens use consumer-level drones to film sweeping aerial vistas, while Amazon works to realize its announced plan to deliver its products via its own PrimeAir drone delivery service.
But, future solar-powered drone technology could bring crucial Internet access to areas of the world without the necessary infrastructure to support it. Silicon Valley’s interest in this technology’s future solidified this month as Google outbid Facebook to purchase Titan Aerospace, a drone technology manufacturer. The same week, Facebook announced its own acquisition of drone company Ascenta in a similar deal.
Through the utilization of drones, the future of low-cost communication is theorized to be reaching for new heights, as autonomous, solar-powered, atmospheric drones could provide weather information, voice and data communication, and the possibility of quicker response to global disasters.
Nearly one year ago, however, in April 2013, Google CEO Eric Schmidt warned voiced his concerns about the private proliferation of drone technology in an interview with The Guardian.
In the interview, Schmidt stated, “You’re having a dispute with your neighbor. How would you feel if your neighbor went over and bought a commercial observation drone that they can launch from their back yard? It just flies over your house all day. How would you feel about it?”
This distinction outlines a key issue with the future of drone technology. Schmidt recommends the limitation of use of drone technology by private citizens due to the potential for abuse of the technology, even as technology giants invest in drones’ future potential.
The recent acquisitions prove that drones will begin to travel well beyond the stereotypical confines of military surveillance and operations, but just how those millions of drones will be utilized remains to be seen.
CEO DroneLife.com, DroneRacingLife.com, and CMO of Jobfordrones.com. Principle at Spalding Barker Strategies. Proud father of two. Enjoys karate, Sherlock Holmes, and interesting things. Subscribe to all things drone at DroneLife here.