Google announced on Friday that it will release a new product that incorporates balloons and wireless Internet. Dubbed Project Loon, Google explained most of the details in its company blog, but some questions are still left unanswered. Google has been known for both its extravagant April Fools jokes and its unique, useful products. This time around, it has released something that seems somewhere caught in between.
“We believe that it might actually be possible to build a ring of balloons, flying around the globe on the stratospheric winds, that provides Internet access to the earth below,” the blog said, “It’s very early days, but we’ve built a system that uses balloons, carried by the wind at altitudes twice as high as commercial planes, to beam Internet access to the ground at speeds similar to today’s 3G networks or faster.”
While Google has acknowledged most consumers’ reactions with the title of the project itself, the company has already entered the testing phase. Project Loon launched 30 balloons this week in the Canterbury area of New Zealand with at least 50 testers trying to connect to them.
The project is ultimately designed to connect individuals in remote and rural areas to the Internet using signals from the balloons alone. This could possibly even make wireless mobile phone access available in areas where it would not normally exist.
The goal seems quite similar to the objective of The Serval Project in spirit. However, the vehicle is quite different.
What do you think of Project Loon? Do you believe Google will succeed? Do you think this will eventually see the trash bin? Leave us your thoughts in the comments.