One giant leap for all balloon kind.
Yesterday Google announced that one of their 30 pilot Project Loon balloons has traveled around the world in 22 days. For anyone not familiar, Project Loon is Google’s
attempt at world domination atmospheric venture in global internet connectivity. In 2013, Google released 30 balloons (or Googloons as we call them here at Techaeris) in Canterbury, New Zealand where a small group of ‘pioneers’ tested the technology. The Googloons float in the stratosphere (25km+ above sea level) where people can connect to the balloon network using an attached antenna. The signal bounces from the antenna, up to the Googloon then back down to a global internet community on earth. Easy peezy right? Google states that it uses wind data collected during flights (it doesn’t stipulate what type of flights or whether Charles Branson was involved) for prediction models to forecast trajectories of their Googloons. Google engineers initially estimated this trek at 33 days but they never expected one to circumvent the globe in just 22.
We are all tech heads here, so I feel I can speak freely about this and say: wow. This is way above my geek-nerd scale, but it is a feat I must admit. While Amazon is working on drone delivery and Zukerberg is planning to put Facebook literally onto your face, Google is trying to make the internet global. I’m sure Google isn’t the only company toying with this notion, but they are pretty vocal about it. Check out the video:
While there is no mention of price or any pending rollout areas, you can sign up to be a Loon Pioneer here. While I’m pretty sure data mining is at the core of this endeavor, you have to admit this is pretty cool. Being connected is something that we all may take for granted and Google is trying to make online connectivity an inalienable right. Like it or not this is a just cause. If Loon came to your area would you try it? Have it out in the comments and thanks for reading.