Facebook moves toward drone air fleet and virtual reality tech

Virtual reality, artificial intelligence and drones will enable Facebook Inc to create a more lifelike and useful social network, the company said. Co-founder Mark Zuckerberg on Thursday proclaimed the successful test of a wide-winged, solar-powered drone built to deliver wireless internet service to remote spots. The test flight of a drone prototype dubbed “Aquila” took place in Britain and was considered a milestone in an internet.org project to bring online access to billions more people.

Aircraft like these will help connect the whole world because they can affordably serve the 10 percent of the world’s population that live in remote communities without existing Internet infrastructure.

Mark Zuckerberg on Facebook

The drone has a wingspan greater than that of a Boeing 737 and weighs about as much as a small car. Facebook’s future also includes “teleporting” social network users with virtual reality technology from Oculus, which they bought last year. Virtual reality headsets could transform how people communicate on Facebook. Events such as a birthday party or a child’s first bike ride could be shared on Facebook so users in different parts of the world felt as if they were taking part.