Apple has expanded its business not only in smartphones but also in a variety of cutting-edge fields such as autonomous vehicles and ARs.
Bloomberg reported Apple has recently built a satellite Internet hardware team. This time, Apple recruited John Fenwick, a spacecraft operations officer at Google’s holding company, Alphabet Inc. and his colleague, Michael Trela, Google’s satellite expert.
Fenwick co-founded Skybox Imaging, a satellite image company, in 2009, and Trela joined Skybox Imaging after studying spaceship-related issues at Johns Hopkins. Skybox Imaging was acquired by Google in 2014 but was sold to rival Planet Labs in February.
Together with the two newly recruited experts, Apple plans to invest in satellite design and operations. In addition, it plans to acquire a lot of images through satellite technology and try to connect to the Internet in a wide area. It is also expected to be able to update Map information quickly.
These experts will work with Greg Duffy, a founder of security camera maker Dropcam. Duffy sold Dropcam in 2014 to Google’s subsidiary, Nest, and began working for Apple last February.
According to Tim Farrar, a satellite and telecom consultant at TMF, Apple has invested in and helped with satellite-related projects against Boeing, the world’s largest aerospace company. In fact, Boeing is working on a long-term project to connect the world with the Internet.
However, according to Bloomberg and others, Fenwick and Trela have not spoken directly about the future plans, and details of how Apple will work with them seem to be unspecified.