Google just announced another pioneer project to offer Internet access to remote areas of the world. The aim of Project Loon is to provide free balloon WiFi internet access to disaster-stricken, rural or poor areas.
They revealed that they already operate a network of 30 WiFi balloons floating over New Zealand at 19 kilometers in the air.
“The idea may sound a bit crazy – and that’s part of the reason we’re calling it Project Loon – but there’s solid science behind it” the company representatives said.
Google X director of product management Mike Cassidy said the aim is to provide more affordable internet connections around the world. In many African nations, for example, monthly internet costs are higher than monthly salaries.
How will balloon WiFi work?
The system is still in tests as they’re trying to figure out how to steer the balloons and keep them on route. The goal is to have them in the air for up to 100 days, in Australia by mid-2014 and also in Argentina.
This project clearly represents another of Google’s forays into telecom business. In the previous years the company has been setting up Google Fibre internet connections in Kansas City, Austin, Texas and elsewhere that offer speeds 100 times faster than what most consumers have today.
Do have a look at the cool video below to find out more about the project and how the balloon WiFi technology works.
It’s going to take 1-2 more years for balloon WiFi to be part of people’s lives, but if you want to enjoy Internet freedom and mobility please have a look at our MiFi directory and find a protable wifi provider where you’re travelling!
Let us know if you hear about more interesting WiFi innovations around the world!