Advanced system of high-altitude balloons delivering 3G-like speeds to rural areas
The latest project to come out of Google may seem like an April Fool's joke at first, but Google is serious when it says it intends to launch an internet delivery service based on high-altitude balloons. Known now as "Project Loon" and coming out of the research arm of the company, Google[x], the initiative is taking off (so to speak) out of the need for better internet access in many parts of the world. As it explains in its official blog post about the project, 2 out of every 3 people in the world still don't have reliable access to the internet, leaving many large swaths of the world in the past.
Rather than try to bring traditional wireline or satellite internet into these areas, which can be quite costly, with Project Loon Google plans to set up a system of free-floating high-altitude balloons to create a network with a wider reach. In its preliminary testing Google says it can create networks that have speeds comparable to today's 3G networks -- an impressive feat considering these balloons are flying twice as high as commercial airplanes.
Letting the balloons follow natural winds and relying on solar power alone has proven to be quite successful in this testing, and while it may be a long way off from a full deployment, Google is willing to give it a try. You can catch more specifics on the science behind Project Loon at the source link below, or watch an introductory video above.
Source: Google Official Blog
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