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June 24, 2013

Google Loon – the balloon-powered Internet

Google seems to be really pushing reliable internet access to everyone. From the promising Google Fiber which gives users 1Gbps of download and upload speeds to this, the Google Loon.


google_loon

As far as we know, Google Loon is one of the project of Google X, the “secret” division of Google that handles the not-so publicly announced and also the most advance projects by the company. Among these are the Project Glass (now Google Glass) and the Google Driverless Car. This project has the potential to provide internet access for developing nations that can’t afford to lay fiber cables or places that it can’t reach.

loon_connect

Loon works with a balloon sent high up to the stratosphere, which is higher than common airplanes’ reach. Then a receiver is installed within the user’s home that connects with the balloons. Now, these interconnected balloons floating smartly in the sky is connected with the local internet service provider creating a cloud network. Each balloon can provide 3G comparable speeds within a 20km radius. Mind you that the each balloon communicates with each other, so they know how far each are and moves to a certain location as needed. Also, they use specific bands for the receivers on the ground to read.

Watch the beautiful introduction video below made by Google themselves to understand what this is about.

So far, Google Loon is a promising project with good heart for people who needs internet connection. Like any, this is not a project without a concern: since Google is the largest advertising network, having more users means wider reach for their ads. But let’s not look commercially, because this is a ground breaking or maybe “sky breaking” opportunity for developing countries.

As of now, the town of Christchurch in New Zealand is currently where the initial trial is.
More info at www.google.com/loon


13 Responses to “Google Loon – the balloon-powered Internet”

  1. Reader says:

    Please correct. Christchurch is in New Zealand.

  2. dodong says:

    porn for everyone!

  3. vince
    Twitter: Vincent
    says:

    this would me more reliable if they used remotely operated blimps or maybe tethered balloons. The blimps and tethered balloons would be able to hover over a certain area instead of being blown all over the place

    • vince
      Twitter: Vincent
      says:

      relying on unpowered balloons means you need either many balloons or are prepared to release more if the balloons already up cannot go back

    • Mr A
      Twitter: solidad
      says:

      I believe these baloons are equiped with solar panels and it has a sort of propellers to navigate itself.

    • rem says:

      WATCH THE VIDEO FIRST BEFORE YOU COMMENT

  4. Wiz says:

    many things should be considered. like weather on the country. I think that’s going to be a big factor here.

    but all in all, it’s a a very good project.

    • Mr A
      Twitter: solidad
      says:

      While the baloon doesn’t get affected by the weather, the problem lies on sending the signal from the ISP to the baloon. If the entire country is experiencing weather disturbance, then the entire network goes down.

      Unless they are using a different way of transmitting data from base to the baloons that can penetrate thick clouds.

  5. beans says:

    “Google: All your data are belong to us”
    Google is an innovative company but their privacy policies and data collection really disturbs me.

    There’s also a risk that this idea by Google could be used by other countries out there something that can be used for warfare. Nukes surrounding at our atmosphere, anyone?

  6. Light says:

    Hopefully, Google finds a way to conquer the digital divide. Only a global company can push this high-level innovation, Google’s business is advertising: the more people use the Internet, the bigger the advertising profit they generate.

    Sana magkaroon dito sa Pinas, kawawang-kawawa na tayo sa oligopoly nila PLDT at Globe. This will force our local ISPs to lower cost and improve their service, because Google will offer a better technology.

  7. […] X, the secret facility division of Google that is behind the Google Loon, the self-driving car and the now-released Google Glass, is now working on a new announced […]

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This article was contributed by Daniel Morial, a film junkie and technology enthusiast. He wish to have his own cinema soon, so watch out for it. You can Follow him on Twitter @PlyrDan10.

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