June 17, 2013
The secretive minds at Google X announced their newest project last Friday, June 14th. Project Loon aims to bring Internet connectivity, operating at 3G speeds or higher, to regions with geographic, economic, or infrastructure limitations.
“The Internet is one of the most transformative technologies of our lifetime,” says project lead Mike Cassidy in Google’s official announcement. “But for two out of every three people on Earth, a fast, affordable Internet connection is still out of reach.”
Google plans to put a ring of balloons in the air that will cruise the globe’s stratospheric winds while beaming the Internet to the ground. Utilizing solar and wind power as well as complex computational algorithms, the team would be able to control the trajectory of the balloons.
Preliminary testing recently began in the Canterbury area of New Zealand with the help of 50 individuals. While it is still early, these tests will help the team learn a lot about their innovative project and improve the technology and design moving forward.
“The idea may sound a bit crazy, and that’s part of the reason we’re calling it Project Loon,” says Cassidy. “But there is solid science behind it.”
You know who else had ideas that sounded a little crazy? Thomas Edison, Nikola Tesla, Albert Einstein, Watson and Crick, the Wright Brothers, and Steve Jobs. If we learned anything from these great minds, it is that humanity cannot be afraid to push the limits of the imagination.
Imagine a world where underserved communities have access to information, doctors would bring healthcare to those who cannot go to them, and communications would still be up after natural disasters. Try to imagine it, because Google certainly is.
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