Facebook recently explored building bird-size drones loaded with data to help improve people's internet connections. From a report: The Menlo Park, California-headquartered technology giant worked on a far-out project, called Catalina, in recent years that aimed to build tiny fixed-wing aircraft capable of ferrying media to communities to augment slow internet connections like 2G, Business Insider has learned. The efforts illustrate how Facebook has been exploring out-of-the-box concepts in its attempts to connect people around the world to the internet for the first time and grow Facebook's user base. And it shows that even amid Facebook's public retreat in June from building 747-size "Aquila" drones to provide internet connectivity to emerging markets, the company was also considering other, even less conventional aerial methods of providing connectivity solutions. Development of Catalina began in late 2017 or earlier, a source said, and work on it continued past June. Also in the story: Facebook has pursued some additional low-tech connectivity efforts. "Street Feet" was an internal effort that paid people in emerging markets to physically approach random people on the street and persuade them to sign up for Facebook.

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Original-URL: https://tech.slashdot.org/story/19/03/29/1515232/facebook-secretly-explored-building-bird-size-drones-to-ferry-data-to-people-with-bad-internet-connections?utm_source=rss1.0mainlinkanon&utm_medium=feed