Google parent company Alphabet confirmed that it is opting for balloons instead of drones in its quest to deliver internet service from the sky. Alphabet, which not only owns Google but also Google X, is devoted to creating world-changing new technologies and told AFP that it gave up on its internet drone project "Titan" about a year ago.
Its staff focused elsewhere at X, including a project called "Loon" which is designed to create a network of high-altitude balloons that would provide internet service to people on the ground, no matter how remote. Some people from the team also shifted to "Project Wing," which is creating delivery drones, according to an X-division spokesperson. "The team from 'Titan' was brought into X in late 2015," the spokesperson said in an email to AFP.
"We ended our exploration of high-altitude unmanned aerial vehicles [UAV] for internet access shortly after."
The economics and technical feasibility of balloons are seen as a more promising way to connect rural and remote parts of the world to the Internet, according to X. Leading online social network Facebook is continuing with the development of an Aquila drone for beaming internet connections from the sky.