Internet, Tech

Matter Over Data

A team of tech visionaries at the Singularity University, a Silicon Valley summer school, has come up with what sounds like a science-fiction vision of the pigeon post. They plan to build an Internet that will transport goods, rather than ferry packets of data to and fro.

“Matternet” is a network of unmanned aerial vehicles a.k.a. drones that would deliver small boxes to remote and inaccessible locations. Instead of going directly from the sender to the recipient—which may be beyond its flying range—a drone would travel by hopping through a grid of base stations, each no farther than six miles from the next.

Over the Matternet, so the vision goes, hospitals could send urgent medicines to remote clinics more quickly than they could via roads, and blood samples could be sent and returned within hours.

A farmer could place an order for a new tractor part by text message and pay for it via mobile money-transfer. A supplier many miles away would then take the part to the local Matternet station for airborne dispatch via drone.

h/t: THE ECONOMIST

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