Google `Takes Off’ with Project Loon Experiment

projectloonballoon01Google’s “Project Loon” is in its experimental phases and entails launching balloons into the stratosphere to provide internet connection to small business owners in rural regions internationally.

Google is literally “launching” their newest internet project: internet balloons. The tagline, “Balloon-powered internet for everyone,” carries a somewhat playful tone for a potentially enormously powerful program. The pilot program is starting in New Zealand with the goal of providing rural small businesses with internet connectivity. “Project Loon balloons float in the stratosphere, twice as high as airplanes and the weather,” states Google on the Project Loom website, “People connect to the balloon network using a special Internet antenna attached to their building.” The official video for the project can be watched here.

The New Zealand pilot went well with the launch of 30 balloons which made it the 12.4 miles into the sky. The next launch is poised to take place likely in India. “What’s devastating,” stated Google’s Asia Pacific head Karim Temsamani, “is that only a tiny fraction of [small-medium enterprises] all across Asia are online right now.” Project Loon could potentially bring the power of web communication to areas which have never before been online, providing endless possibilities. “For farmers in remote rural areas, this would bring market information that allows them to get better prices from merchants, “Temsamani explained, “For places with few doctors, this could help relay drug information. In disasters, this could help coordinate supplies. Google is also expanding its global coverage in other ways. The company has also just purchased the GPS mapping company Waze for $1 billion, which will allow Google to integrate real-time user traffic info onto the existing Google Maps service. As Google expands into new locations and hones its focus in existing ones, more and more users are likely to benefit significantly from the growing services.

Photo credit: screengrab

WHISNews21 Comment: This is great as long as it’s not just another way of spying on us, “No Where To Hide”

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