Google’s Secret High-Speed Internet Drone Project



Whenever a tech giant gobbles up another company, there’s always tons of speculation about what the tech giant has up its sleeves, and how the acquired company’s expertise will find its way into an actual product.

So when Google acquired high-altitude drone manufacturer Titan Aerospace in 2014, the tech world blew up with Google’s big plans of sending Internet drones to space. Those plans became much clearer today, following a Guardian report about another top secret Google project called SkyBender.

But let’s backtrack. To understand SkyBender it is imperative to understand Titan.


Titan has been known for its solar-powered super drones “Solara” which can function as atmospheric satellites. The unmanned aircraft can operate at 65,000ft (20 km) altitude about 50% higher than a Boeing 747 jumbo jet. At this height, the drone operates for up to 5 years independently and uninterrupted by weather patterns.

A single Solara drone uses thousands of solar cells producing enough energy to keep it flying. Each drone is equipped with lots of sensors opening up a range of possible use cases including acting as GPS replacement satellites in case of terror attacks or to produce real-time Google Map images that are always fresh and available on-demand.

More interesting to Google are the drones’ high-speed millimeter wave technology to deliver Internet 40 times faster than 4G/LTE which is even faster than what might become 5G.  The problem of millimeter wave technology is its range as it spans only a short distance before fading out creating a unique challenge.

Project SkyBender

This is where Google’s new secret project “SkyBender” comes in. Project SkyBender could make Google a global Internet provider using Titan’s drone technology together with a new wave-spectrum completely different from today’s clogged cellphone spectrum.

Since last summer several high-tech drones have been built together with a “pilot optional” aircraft called Centaur and are now tested at Spaceport America located in the Jornada del Muerto desert in New Mexico.


You might remember Virgin Galactic, the ambitious commercial space travel project of Virgin Airline founder Richard Branson which operates from Spaceport America. Google is currently renting a hanger from Virgin Galactic and pays the Spaceport America a monthly fee.

The Federal Communication Commission (FCC) licensed the testing of the new millimeter-wave drone-based technology until July 2016. It has yet to be seen where the project will evolve from there.

Before Google, the U.S. military had been testing a similar drone-based technology to provide high-speed connectivity for troops in remote areas.

This isn’t the company’s first foray into providing Internet to remote areas from above. Back in 2013, Google announced its Project Loon initiative that involves sending up hundreds if not thousands of Internet balloons into the stratosphere, bringing Internet to areas that were previously unconnected.

Who doesn’t dream of buffer-free Netflix anywhere on earth?

[irp posts=”7034″ name=”Google’s Pixel strategy is doing exceedingly well, at a cost”]


Airpeak will be Sony’s foray into camera drone market

Slated to launch in Spring 2021




The ever-competitive drone market will soon have another brand to welcome. Sony just announced its entry into the consumer drone market with the Airpeak brand, which will likely go toe-to-toe (propeller to propeller?) with established brands like DJI.

Specific details about the brand, however, remain scarce at the moment. Sony’s official website only teases a short cryptic video.

The website also mentions that Airpeak will be the culmination of “imaging and sensing technological expertise and AI Robotics” — something which Sony has with its consumer camera and robotic products.

A separate press release also confirms Sony’s plan to target video creators with the Airpeak brand. Further, the brand will bring 3R technology (Reality, Real-time and Remote) to the drone market.

The first wave of products under the Airpeak is slated to launch in the spring of 2021. In the meantime, Sony will continue to obtain feedback from users who participated in co-creating drones under the brand.

It is worth noting that this isn’t Sony’s first foray into the drone market. Last year, the company entered a partnership with ZMP to form the Aerosense company. However, that company caters specifically to the business sector. So, the Airpeak brand will actually be the company’s first for the consumer drone sector.

Continue Reading


How the tech world helped in the Notre Dame fire incident

Modern technology isn’t our foe at all




In light of the recent news about the fire incident that happened in the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, France, several companies, including those from the tech sector, have shown how much they care for the ruined 856-year-old historic landmark.


When the flames broke out, firefighters used Mavic Pro and Matrice M210 drones. The cathedral was severely damaged but thankfully, the drones helped in distinguishing where the fire had spread out. Several tweets show how helpful drones are, even during unexpected disasters like this one.

People from DJI talked about how their drones helped Paris’ Emergency Response Team in determining the fire inside the cathedral.


After the incident, many people, including popular icons all around the globe, have shown their distress about the destruction of the cathedral. Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple, is one among those people. He even promised Apple would help in the progress of rebuilding Notre Dame’s ruined architectural landscape.


Most gamers can tell that the Notre Dame Cathedral is found in the gameplay of Assassin’s Creed: Unity. Ubisoft, which is also a French company, said that the infrastructure was scanned using their state-of-the-art 3D mapping technology. Using data preserved for the game may help architects and builders in restoring the cathedral. As an addition, the game is for free at the Ubisoft store to honor the fallen landmark.

Image credit: Ubisoft

It may be insignificant for most people but these all prove that companies and their existing technologies can still help in times of global incidents like this.

Continue Reading


DJI Mavic 2 Pro Review: 1 month in

Not a perfect drone, but…



We won’t bore you with a rundown of its specs, but instead, we’ll give you the lowdown on DJI’s new drone — what works, what doesn’t, and what’s there to love. This is our DJI Mavic 2 Pro review.


Continue Reading