Google has dropped another one of its moonshot projects on the world. This time around it’s called Project Loon, which strives to deploy balloons to transmit wireless Internet to the world and it has been developed by the Google X team that is headed by co-founder Sergey Brin. The idea is to deploy a number of giant balloons in the stratosphere so that they are able to deploy Internet in remote parts of the world. Google believes this to be a cheap and scalable way of deploying Internet in parts of the world that still don’t have access to it.
Similar to its driverless cars project, Project Loon planted in its nascence and is a very early experiment. Google claims that it has built a network using balloons that are over 60,000 feet up in the sky and they are able to deliver speeds similar or slightly faster than current generation 3G networks.
Up in the stratosphere, the balloons drift so Google uses complex algorithms and lots of computing power to ensure that the balloons move together in a pack. The balloons can move with the help of wind and solar power and perhaps they will be able to traverse the entire globe at stratospheric heights, above the clouds and aircrafts that fly around the world.
Google has built specialized antennas that only work with ‘Project Loon’ so it’s not using traditional cellular or Wi-Fi connectivity. However, Internet service providers can take that signal and move it around and deliver it to the consumers.
There is already a pilot program in the works in New Zealand with 50 testers and Google has launched 30 balloons this week itself.