Facebook’s Aquila Internet-delivery Drone Could Add Billions More Online Customers

Facebook’s Aquila Drone Could Add Billions More Online Customers

Social networking giant Facebook (NASDAQ: FB) last week reported the first successful full-scale test flight of its ambitious Aquila solar-powered high-altitude unmanned aircraft. It’s part of an ambitious goal to bring four billion more  people online — more customers, freelancers and maybe even partners for your business.

“After two years of engineering, I’m proud to announce the successful first flight of Aquila — the solar-powered plane we designed to beam internet to remote parts of the world,” wrote Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg in a post on Thursday.

The maiden flight took place before dawn in Yuma, Arizona, on June 28.

Aquila Drone Beams High Speed Internet from the Sky

Facebook’s original mission was to fly Aquila for 30 minutes, but everything went so well that the company decided to keep the plane up for nearly 96 minutes.

It was a significant milestone and step forward in Facebook’s quest to use drones to beam high speed internet from the sky to the nearly four billion people (60 percent of the global population) without internet access, 1.6 billion of whom live in remote locations with no access to mobile broadband networks.

“Over the next year we’re going to keep testing Aquila — flying higher and longer, and adding more planes and payloads. It’s all part of our mission to connect the world and help more of the four billion people who are not online access all the opportunities of the internet,” Zuckerberg said.

“When complete, Aquila will be able to circle a region up to 96 km in diameter, beaming connectivity down from an altitude of more than 60,000 feet using laser communications and millimeter wave systems,” added Jay Parikh, Global Head of Engineering and Infrastructure at Facebook.

“Our goal is to have a fleet of Aquilas flying together at 60,000 feet, communicating with each other with lasers and staying aloft for months at a time — something that’s never been done before,” continued Zuckerberg.

4 Billion More People Could Soon Come Online

It’s worth reiterating that Zuckerberg and his company’s Connectivity Lab, the group working on the state-of-the-art internet-delivery drone, intend to bring four billion more people online via the Aquila project. That’s four billion more potential online customers, freelancers and maybe even partners!

The opportunities of the internet are endless, especially with more people online. From expanding the customer base for online businesses to enabling creation of new services and new revenue streams on top of traditional ones and increasing global visibility for brands, an increasingly connected world cod be good for many.

It’s not surprising, therefore, that Google (NASDAQ: GOOG), another internet giant and major Facebook rival, is also working on a similar project, pushing its Project Loon, which would use high-altitude balloons to distribute connectivity and bring people in remote parts of the world online. Elon Musk’s SpaceX, too, aspires to use satellites to cover the globe with internet connectivity.

Of course, both Facebook and Google have plans of their own on how they would tap this new pool of internet users. Their business models depend on overseas growth and they are determined to reach every single person on the planet. But, savvy entrepreneurs and small businesses also stand to benefit if the high speed internet connectivity projects are successful in bringing more people online.

Moreover, the race to bring affordable internet to hundreds of millions of people in more sparsely populated and hard-to-reach stretches of the globe could also usher in an important new era of rigorous experimentation and innovation not just from technology giants like Facebook and Google, but also from enterprising start-ups touting the next big thing.

Image: Facebook

More in: Facebook

[“source-smallbiztrends”]

First National Drone Delivery Service Launched — in Rwanda

Rwandan Drone Delivery Service First of Its Kind

Rwandan President Paul Kagame on Friday launched the world’s first national drone delivery service at a ceremony in Kigali. This comes at a time when U.S. regulatory agencies are yet to clear any kind of commercial drone delivery service here in this country.

Rwandan Drone Delivery Service First of Its Kind

The drone delivery service will make up to 150 on-demand, emergency deliveries per day of life-saving blood. The blood will be delivered to 21 transfusing facilities located in the western half of the country, where poor roads and healthcare infrastructure make it difficult to reach patients in need.

But even if the delivery service isn’t here, the drones that helped launch it are built and operated by an American robotics company, Zipline of San Francisco, California. An international partnership between Zipline, UPS, Gavi (the Bill Gates-backed vaccine fund) and the Vaccine Alliance will help Rwanda quickly expand the types of lifesaving vaccines and medicines that can be delivered.

“Drones are very useful, both commercially and for improving services in the health sector. We are happy to be launching this innovative technology and to continue working with partners to develop it further,” said Pres. Kagame, according to the official release from UPS.

According to UPS, which has supported the project with a $1.1 million (USD) grant through The UPS Foundation, the commercial partnership between Rwanda and the companies is expected to save thousands of lives over the next three years. The partnership also hopes to use the knowledge gained in Rwanda to export this delivery service around the world.

“The shared belief in the ability to save lives through applied innovation, combined with Rwanda’s vision, is now not only poised to advance humanitarian logistics — and logistics as we know it — around the world, but also to save lives,” said Eduardo Martinez, president of The UPS Foundation and chief diversity and inclusion officer at UPS. Martinez’s remarks were also included in the company’s official release.

Image: UPS

[“source-smallbiztrends”]

Mark Zuckerberg Meets the Pope; Gifts Him a Drone Model

Mark Zuckerberg Meets the Pope; Gifts Him a Drone Model

Mark Zuckerberg Meets the Pope; Gifts Him a Drone Model
HIGHLIGHTS
Zuckerberg gifts model of solar-powered drone Aquila to Pope Francis
Zuckerberg discusses Internet connectivity with Pope Francis
Facebook completed first successful test of Aquila last month
What would you possibly expect from a meeting between the Pope Francis and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg? The idea of a meeting between the modern tech innovator and the leader of the Catholic Church itself is intriguing enough to a point that you would love to know every word of their entire conversation. Zuckerberg didn’t fail to embrace the bizarreness of the situation where two opposite worlds met each other, offering a model of a drone to the Pope.

Mark Zuckerberg offered a miniature model of his solar-powered drone Aquila, which is supposed to beam Internet connectivity to places without it, to Pope Francis. In a post on his social networking website, he said, “We (Mark and wife Priscilla) told him (Pope Francis) how much we admire his message of mercy and tenderness, and how he’s found new ways to communicate with people of every faith around the world.”

The Facebook CEO further said that he and wife Priscilla talked with the Pope about Internet connectivity and its requirement in various parts of the world.
Interestingly, Pope Francis already uses Twitter and Instagram in order to reach the younger audiences and profess his religious teachings to them. If more people get Internet connectivity, more people will be able to hear what the Pope has to say about various global issues and effectively serve his purpose as well.

Last month, Facebook announced that it completed its first successful test of its solar-powered drone Aquila, which has been developed to deliver Internet service to remote areas of the world.

Share a screenshot and win Samsung smartphones worth Rs. 90,000 by participating in the #BrowseFaster contest.

Tags: Mark Zuckerberg Meets Pope, Facebook, Zuckerberg Pope Meeting, Aquila, Drones, Internet

[“Source-Gadgets”]

World Drone Market to Near $127 Billion in 2020: PwC

World Drone Market to Near $127 Billion in 2020: PwC

Drones will soon be boosting crop yields, verifying insurance claims, and assisting in future Hollywood blockbusters in a business that’s due to boom by more than 6,000 percent by the end of the decade.

The global market for commercial applications of drone technology, currently estimated at about $2 billion (roughly Rs. 13,325 crores), will balloon to as much as $127 billion (roughly Rs. 8,46,149 crores) by 2020, consulting group PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP said in a report published on Monday.

With Poland leading the way in drafting laws for the commercial use of unmanned aerial vehicles, non-military applications are already being designed that may revolutionize thousands of industries. One project envisions drones flying over wheat fields to detect areas where crops are failing and then calling in reinforcements to tackle affected zones by spraying pesticide or nutrients.

“The cost of drone technology is falling so quickly that a number of everyday applications are becoming cost-efficient,” Piotr Romanowski, a PwC partner and Business Advisory Leader for central and eastern Europe, told reporters.

x

The new technology is allowing drones to accurately create three-dimensional maps and observe how they change over time, which could prove useful for infrastructure projects, verifying insurance claims and also for security applications, PwC said.

The transport industry may also be revolutionized by drones starting to provide “last mile services,” as already seen in tests in Switzerland, where flying vehicles have replaced postal carriers in tough-to-reach mountain regions. Drone-based applications are also helping the movie industry generate special effects and they can be used for marketing and photography and movies, the report said.

“The key barrier is actually the lack of legislation regarding the use of drones,” said Michal Mazur, head of Drone Powered Solutions at PwC in the region.

Poland was the world’s first country to draft legislation regarding the commercial use of drones, including required training for pilots, rules for BVLOS (beyond visible line of sight) flights and insurance regulations, followed by South Africa and Singapore, PwC said. The consultancy is setting up a team of as many as 40 people in Warsaw focused on the use of drone technology and data analytics in business.

© 2016 Bloomberg L.P.

Share a screenshot and win Samsung smartphones worth Rs. 90,000 by participating in the #BrowseFaster contest.

Tags: Cameras, Drones, UAVs, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

[“Source-Gadgets”]

Facebook’s Aquila Internet-delivery Drone Could Add Billions More Online Customers

Facebook’s Aquila Drone Could Add Billions More Online Customers

Social networking giant Facebook (NASDAQ: FB) last week reported the first successful full-scale test flight of its ambitious Aquila solar-powered high-altitude unmanned aircraft. It’s part of an ambitious goal to bring four billion more  people online — more customers, freelancers and maybe even partners for your business.

“After two years of engineering, I’m proud to announce the successful first flight of Aquila — the solar-powered plane we designed to beam internet to remote parts of the world,” wrote Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg in a post on Thursday.

The maiden flight took place before dawn in Yuma, Arizona, on June 28.

Aquila Drone Beams High Speed Internet from the Sky

Facebook’s original mission was to fly Aquila for 30 minutes, but everything went so well that the company decided to keep the plane up for nearly 96 minutes.

It was a significant milestone and step forward in Facebook’s quest to use drones to beam high speed internet from the sky to the nearly four billion people (60 percent of the global population) without internet access, 1.6 billion of whom live in remote locations with no access to mobile broadband networks.

“Over the next year we’re going to keep testing Aquila — flying higher and longer, and adding more planes and payloads. It’s all part of our mission to connect the world and help more of the four billion people who are not online access all the opportunities of the internet,” Zuckerberg said.

“When complete, Aquila will be able to circle a region up to 96 km in diameter, beaming connectivity down from an altitude of more than 60,000 feet using laser communications and millimeter wave systems,” added Jay Parikh, Global Head of Engineering and Infrastructure at Facebook.

“Our goal is to have a fleet of Aquilas flying together at 60,000 feet, communicating with each other with lasers and staying aloft for months at a time — something that’s never been done before,” continued Zuckerberg.

4 Billion More People Could Soon Come Online

It’s worth reiterating that Zuckerberg and his company’s Connectivity Lab, the group working on the state-of-the-art internet-delivery drone, intend to bring four billion more people online via the Aquila project. That’s four billion more potential online customers, freelancers and maybe even partners!

The opportunities of the internet are endless, especially with more people online. From expanding the customer base for online businesses to enabling creation of new services and new revenue streams on top of traditional ones and increasing global visibility for brands, an increasingly connected world cod be good for many.

It’s not surprising, therefore, that Google (NASDAQ: GOOG), another internet giant and major Facebook rival, is also working on a similar project, pushing its Project Loon, which would use high-altitude balloons to distribute connectivity and bring people in remote parts of the world online. Elon Musk’s SpaceX, too, aspires to use satellites to cover the globe with internet connectivity.

Of course, both Facebook and Google have plans of their own on how they would tap this new pool of internet users. Their business models depend on overseas growth and they are determined to reach every single person on the planet. But, savvy entrepreneurs and small businesses also stand to benefit if the high speed internet connectivity projects are successful in bringing more people online.

Moreover, the race to bring affordable internet to hundreds of millions of people in more sparsely populated and hard-to-reach stretches of the globe could also usher in an important new era of rigorous experimentation and innovation not just from technology giants like Facebook and Google, but also from enterprising start-ups touting the next big thing.

[“source-smallbiztrends”]

For First Time, Drone Delivers Package to US Residential Area

For First Time, Drone Delivers Package to US Residential Area

A drone has successfully delivered a package to a residential location in a small Nevada town in what its maker and the governor of the state said Friday was the first fully autonomous urban drone delivery in the US.

Flirtey CEO Matt Sweeney said the six-rotor drone flew about a half-mile along a pre-programmed delivery route on March 10 and lowered the package outside a vacant residence in an uninhabited area of Hawthorne, southeast of Reno.

The route was established using GPS. A pilot and visual observers were on standby during the flight but weren’t needed, Sweeney said.

He said the package included bottled water, food and a first-aid kit.

“Conducting the first drone delivery in an urban setting is a major achievement, taking us closer to the day that drones make regular deliveries to your front doorstep,” Sweeney said.

Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval congratulated the company “on successfully completing the nation’s first fully autonomous urban package delivery.”

“I am thrilled that Flirtey is not only testing its cutting-edge technology in Nevada, but also creating jobs through its headquarters relocation to Reno,” Sandoval said in a statement.

Nasa is working with the drone industry and the Federal Aviation Administration on a low-altitude air traffic control system to prevent crashes involving drones and other low-altitude aircraft.

Flirtey conducted the first FAA-approved, rural drone delivery in July to a rural health care clinic in Virginia.

The Nevada delivery demonstrates that advanced drone systems allow aerial vehicles to safely navigate around buildings and deliver packages with precision within a populated area, Sweeney said.

The company recently moved its headquarters from Australia to Nevada. It said the recent delivery was filmed for an upcoming ABC-TV documentary.

Hawthorne, a town of about 3,000 residents, is the home of the Hawthorne Army Depot.

Flirtey has been conducting research and development through a partnership with the Nevada Advanced Autonomous Systems Innovation Center at the University of Nevada, Reno. Nevada is one of six states the FAA has designated as unmanned aircraft systems test sites.

“This was by far one of the most successful (unmanned aircraft systems) operations we ran and represents an advanced level of test and development … by Flirtey,” said Chris Walach, director of operations for the FAA-designated Nevada site.

Download the Gadgets 360 app for Android and iOS to stay up to date with the latest tech news, product reviews, and exclusive deals on the popular mobiles.

Tags: Cameras, Drones, FAA, Federal Aviation Administration, Internet
[“source-Gadgets”]