Over the weekend Google[X] (the branch of Google that builds the company’s moonshot project like Glass and the self-driving car) announced their newest project: Loon. Project Loon is Google’s attempt to get the entire world on the internet. In some places in the world their is either no access to the world wide web or it is an extremely rare luxury. The project will bring internet to these internet-less people via balloons flying at 20km above the Earth and being carrier around by wind currents.
To make everything work, Google has custom made antennas that attach to buildings. These then transmit signals to the solar-powered balloons that in return attach to a 3G data provider. From there the balloons transmits a WiFi like signal to the ground below so people can connect to the internet.
The project has already started testing the service in New Zealand with 30 balloons and 50 people trying to connect to the moving devices. These initial tests are to help the Loon Project Team learn how to make the balloons better and fix any issues that might show up in the use of the devices.
This is a major project that will affect millions of people that have never had the ability to access the internet. Hopefully this project will be officially released so we can bridge the gap between those that have internet and those that do not.
Source | Google Blog | Loon YouTube Channel