Alphabet Inc., the parent company of internet giant Google, has converted two projects under its ‘X’ research division into independent companies, according to a new report by CNBC. Project Wing, which focused on drone delivery, and Project Loon, a system for delivering internet through Wi-Fi connectivity to remote areas using hot-air balloons, have been promoted from project status to independent companies. Both companies will remain under the Alphabet corporate structure as subsidiaries.
The two projects were being operated by Alphabet‘s ‘X’ research division, which carries out some of the company’s more ambitious research and development projects. Project Loon and Project Wing have been the two most successful recent projects by the ‘X’ division, and the change into independent companies is a sign of faith that Alphabet is putting in the continued growth of the two projects.
Project Loon is perhaps the company’s most ambitious and far-reaching project yet, and aims to provide internet connectivity to remote areas by using connected hot-air balloons. This can serve otherwise inaccessible parts of the world, and also aid in emergency operations such as natural disasters, where traditional methods of connectivity are inoperable. Project Wing seeks to use drones controlled remotely to deliver packages across cities for last-mile connectivity.
Both of these ambitious projects have been in development for some time now, and independence will allow them to take the step from concept status to functional use. However, this will also mean that the two projects must show financial accountability, which can come by the successful monetization of both ideas.
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Alphabet Inc. is the product of a massive restructuring of Google, the company founded by Larry Page and Sergey Brin in 1998. Google has itself been spun into a subsidiary of Alphabet Inc., and continues to be in the traditional businesses of internet-related products and services, including its highly-successful search engine and advertising business. Other companies such as X, Waymo, Verily and GV are also subsidiaries of Alphabet, which has the co-founders as CEO and President.