Last year in June, Google announced another ambitious moonshot called Project Loon, where balloons would fly around the Earth and wirelessly transmit connectivity to people down below.
The project has been steadily moving along, with Project Loon updates claiming they had move around the Earth in 22 days and have learnt how to control the balloon’s movement, to make sure all areas have enough connectivity.
Even though Project Loon could be years from fully received, Google is already making plans with carriers in developing countries to make Project Loon a viable alternative to normal wireless connectivity.
Each balloon currently offers enough connectivity to match 3G at around 10-20mbps, but Google has said this could be improved in a short time, if the need arises. The balloon will offer data cross 780 square miles, an impressive range for disaster areas or those without proper Internet connectivity.
Google has announced they will not bring Project Loon to developed countries and we may see another move by Mountain View, becoming a sub-carrier in the United States for users that own a Google Fiber plan, more for us to wish would come our way.
The Google X team are working on a lot of interesting stuff, most of which is kept secret, but there have been some projects brought out into the open, most notably Google Glass, the augmented reality glasses and the self-driving car.
While all of these are questionable and may or may not finally come out, Project Loon feels like it is less of a commercial machine and more a way for Google to get the next four billion onto the Internet for a cheap price, something the balloons may be capable of doing.
Even if Project Loon fails to take off, there is plenty to learn from Google’s experiment, something we hope other companies are taking into consideration, especially if they want to keep up with Google in the next few years when they get some of their moonshots onto the market .