Google to Acquire Satellite Manufacturer Skybox Imaging to Improve Maps Imagery and Global Internet Access
Posted June 10, 2014 at 08:00 pm by Will Verduzco
Google is an incredibly large corporation with equally diverse set of projects. While many of these have originated inhouse, an even larger number have come through strategic acquisitions. Recent acquisitions have included smart thermostat manufacturer Nest, AI startup DeepMind, sound-based authentication pioneers SlickLogin, and drone manufacturer Titan Aerospace. But of course, the primary acquisition on the minds of most reading this article today is none other than Android itself.
Earlier today, Google added one more notch to its metaphorical belt by announcing its intentions to acquire the Mountain View-based Skybox Imaging. For those who aren’t familiar with the name, the relatively obscure company has spent the better part of five years working to improve satellite imagery technology. This has lead to the release of the Skybox Constellation, whose claim to fame is being the world’s smallest high-resolution imaging satellite. Using this technology, Skybox is able to obtain sub-meter satellite imagery and high-definition video of up to 90 seconds at 30 frames per second.
So why is Google interested in a satellite manufacturer? The most obvious potential use for Skybox’s strengths is to bolster the already impressive Google Maps satellite imagery with even higher resolution images and, perhaps at some point in the future, video. But in addition to simply improving Maps, Skybox’s wishes to improve global Internet access may align with Google’s similar efforts with Project Loon, as well as the recent Titan Aerospace acquisition.
It’s interesting to see Google evolve and mature as a company that has its hands in essentially what amounts to the future. What are your thoughts on Google’s ever-growing scope? Let us know in the comments below.
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