Google balloons to bring web to the last corner (video)

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google1Internet giant Google on June 15 launched what it calls ‘Project Loon’ in New Zealand, a network of Internet-beaming balloons that travel in the stratosphere with the lofty goal of getting the entire planet online.

The project uses solar-powered balloons that ride the wind about 20 kilometers above the ground – around twice as high as airplanes and way below the satellite orbit in a license-free spectrum.

As a start, Google launched 30 giant, jellyfish-shaped balloons that are moving with the wind and form a network of airborne hot spots that can deliver Internet access over a broad area at speeds comparable to 3G using open radio frequency bands.

Google uses algorithms to determine where the balloons need to go, then moves them into winds blowing in the desired direction, the company said.

The project was developed in the top-secret Google X lab that also came up with a driverless car and Google’s Internet-surfing eyeglasses and is also working on a futuristic ‘space elevator.’

Google eventually wants to launch thousands of the balloons and bring Internet to remote parts of the globe, narrowing the digital divide between the 2.2 billion people who are online and the 4.8 billion who are not. The technology might allow countries to leapfrog the expense of installing fiber-optic cables, dramatically increasing Internet usage in places such as Africa and Southeast Asia.

Each balloon would provide Internet service for an area twice the size of New York City, and because of their high altitude, rugged terrain is not a problem. The balloons could even beam the Internet into the Himalayas or the jungles of Borneo.

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

Internet giant Google on June 15 launched what it calls ‘Project Loon’ in New Zealand, a network of Internet-beaming balloons that travel in the stratosphere with the lofty goal of getting the entire planet online.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

google1Internet giant Google on June 15 launched what it calls ‘Project Loon’ in New Zealand, a network of Internet-beaming balloons that travel in the stratosphere with the lofty goal of getting the entire planet online.

The project uses solar-powered balloons that ride the wind about 20 kilometers above the ground – around twice as high as airplanes and way below the satellite orbit in a license-free spectrum.

As a start, Google launched 30 giant, jellyfish-shaped balloons that are moving with the wind and form a network of airborne hot spots that can deliver Internet access over a broad area at speeds comparable to 3G using open radio frequency bands.

Google uses algorithms to determine where the balloons need to go, then moves them into winds blowing in the desired direction, the company said.

The project was developed in the top-secret Google X lab that also came up with a driverless car and Google’s Internet-surfing eyeglasses and is also working on a futuristic ‘space elevator.’

Google eventually wants to launch thousands of the balloons and bring Internet to remote parts of the globe, narrowing the digital divide between the 2.2 billion people who are online and the 4.8 billion who are not. The technology might allow countries to leapfrog the expense of installing fiber-optic cables, dramatically increasing Internet usage in places such as Africa and Southeast Asia.

Each balloon would provide Internet service for an area twice the size of New York City, and because of their high altitude, rugged terrain is not a problem. The balloons could even beam the Internet into the Himalayas or the jungles of Borneo.

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