Google has added a brand new venture to its roster, Project Loon.
Loon allows people to connect to internet, not from your standard wireless router, but a floating balloon that connects you to a worldwide network of other balloons that can bring you the web across the world.
How it works
Loon may look like a giant jellyfish, but a lot of engineering has gone into this. Firstly, the balloon is powered entirely by solar panels. This powers the electrical box that hangs from the balloon and transmits the data. This data travels at speeds similar to that of 3G, which isn’t too bad considering these signals travel around the world.
One of my initial thoughts of Loon was that it would get destroyed by the wind or rain. I should’ve known better – Google have used astro-science to make sure this doesn’t happen. Google explained that wind and rain, as we know it, occurs at roughly 10km in the sky, planes also fly at around this altitude. So Google has decided that Loon should float at around 20km.
Not only do the problems of weather and planes disappear at 20km, there is also something else very interesting that naturally occurs there. 20km into the earth’s atmosphere is the stratosphere. The stratosphere is home to multiple layers of winds that travel in different directions between 5 and 20 mph. Loon’s systems can adjust its height to navigate itself to where it is required.
Changing the world
Google revealed a statistic that said: for very person that has access to internet, two people cannot access the internet. This means that 2/3s of the world’s population can’t access the world’s available information.
Google also stated that businesses that have access to the internet grow twice as fast. This could mean a lot more businesses will take off and help people to have a higher quality of life. Not only that but if more businesses are becoming successful, then this will create more and more jobs. The economies will more than likely benefit from Loon.
Students stand a good chance to find the benefits of Loon, they will be able to find more resources to learn from and get a better education, which will in turn, enable them to get a better job. Healthcare was also mentioned in the Loon video. Loon will enable people to talk to doctors online and receive medical attention where this may be unavailable; this could result in lives being saved which is priceless.
Loon is set to start out in New Zealand and if you live there, you can sign up to be considered a candidate of the Loon project. If Loon really does take off, it could revolutionize the world and the way we use the internet.