“My drone can beat up your drone.”
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos announced in December of 2013 that his company was testing a drone delivery system for its products. Never to be outdone, Mark Zuckerberg announced last week that Facebook is experimenting with its own drone program: this one with potentially transformative applications.
The aircraft—known as Aquila—is an integral cog in Facebook’s Internet.org initiative, an undertaking designed to maximize global internet connectivity. Many thought Amazon’s quadcopter that delivers toothpaste and DVD copies of Seinfeld was impressive, but they haven’t seen this thing. Aquila has the wingspan of a Boeing 737, weighs less than a car and can achieve altitude of over 60,000 feet. Utilizing solar power, it can also remain airborne for months on end. Its main function will be to serve as a massive aerial Internet router, delivering lightning-quick access to the most remote corners of the planet.
Interconnectivity and the ability to reach others within a second’s time, anywhere on the planet, is the hallmark of the Internet & Social Media Age. What Facebook is proposing is truly revolutionary, and will bring each of us that much closer together. The prospective applications for an Internet-providing megadrone are endless. Imagine the ability to connect in the deepest recesses of the rainforest to request medical care. Forward-thinking, progressive cities can utilize Facebook’s drone technology to truly become beacons of connectivity. We really live in an incredible time.
It will obviously take some time for Facebook’s aviation dream to become a reality, but the mere fact that we’re discussing such an innovation shows how much of an impact Facebook has had on society, and shows that Mark Zuckerberg is not content to merely rest on his laurels.