Google last week confirmed that it had bought Skybox Imaging. While the price has been pegged at around $500 million instead of the $1 billion widely anticipated, Google’s acquisition of the satellite group would surely help propel Google’s ambition to improve imagery in Google products. Skybox employees will be a part of the Access and Energy team.
Among the various responsibilities of the Skybox team will be how to make Google’s internet access work better with the Google Loon project and the Titan Aerospace.
On their part, Skybox said that they will continue launching the small satellites like they have done before. In fact, Skybox, during its official announcement of the buyout stated that the company will continue to produce the world’s smallest satellites with high resolution and will continue to actively collect data.
Skybox’s site stated how joining the Google team would help Skybox further their ambition and help them to ‘think bigger and bolder’.
Some of the immediate benefits of the acquisition seem to be in helping to tackle problems related to self-driving cars (which have recently started getting licenses in California) to designing new satellites from scratch.
Google, on its part stated that the acquisition will help them to keep their maps accurate improve satellite imagery. Google also stated that it was looking at Skybox to help in disaster relief in the longer term, by offering accurate data and information. Google does the disaster relief work under the “Earth Enterprise”, that offers useful mapping data for businesses, organizations and institutions.
While not much other information is available as to the details about the acquisition, Google is surely looking forward to a satellite launch soon. In fact, the satellite launch could be as soon as this summer as Google actively looks forward to launch many more satellites in the near future.
What are you looking forward to in terms of this launch? With improved Google satellite imagery, GPS tracking systems are bound to be more efficient too. Does that signal an approach towards some better GPS apps? Or would this acquisition not have any effect on app entrepreneurs?