Google is no stranger to outlandish ideas, and it appears they will stop at nothing to make sure the whole world is connected. In that tradition, Google has announced Project Loon, a crazy (hence the name Loon) idea that plans to bring the world internet via high-altitude balloons. The idea is that in many parts of the world, internet access costs more than rent and is out of reach for the average citizen. The plan is to launch a ring of balloons orbiting the globe on stratospheric winds, broadcasting an internet signal comparable to that of most 3G connections. On top of connecting rural areas and other parts of the globe that previously didn’t have internet access, it could also aid in disaster relief, providing a means to stay in contact with devastated areas. Hit the break for videos breaking down how the technology will work.
Since the project is still in its earliest stages, there are many hurdles to overcome. First, Google has figured out how to control the balloons flight path using wind and solar technology to change the balloon’s elevation, allowing it to catch streams in the desired direction. However, they’ve yet to figure out a solution to controlling all balloons at once, making sure that the broadcasts are always available when and where they are supposed to be.
Google is launching a pilot run of the technology in New Zealand and plan to test it in more areas with similar latitudes. If successful, Project Loon could not only connect rural and remote areas, but provide everyone with a means of being connected to the internet almost everywhere they go. Let us know in the comments what you think of this exciting new technology.
Source: Google Blog