Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Project Loon BALLOON-POWERED INTERNET FOR EVERYONE: "Connecting the world with hot air balloons" The situation Google hopes to change with Project Loon

What Will Project Loon Be Used For?

Project Loon will bring Internet access to people living in remote areas and regions where forests, mountains or other landforms can block broadband signals. Using solar powered Hot Air balloons

Most of us take our Internet connections for granted. After all, getting online is usually just a smartphone away. Internet connectivity is built into so many devices: tablets, iPods and even some household appliances can now go online.

But with such simple and immediate access, it’s easy to forget that not everybody is as hooked up as we are.In fact,According to Google, for 2 out of every 3 people on Earth, "a fast, affordable Internet connection is still out of reach." Project Loon is an early, inspiring attempt to deliver reliable connectivity to those areas where it does not exist or is prohibitively expensive - the Southern Hempishere, in particular.

This is the situation Google hopes to change with Project Loon.

No one can accuse Google of not thinking big. Project Loon, Google's audacious "moonshot" vision to bring mobile Internet connectivity to the billions without - via balloons - is one of the company's biggest ideas ever. It's madness, but it just might work. The balloons are made of polyethylene plastic. They are approximately 15 meters in diameter and the entire apparatus is about 12 meters tall. Each balloon is powered via solar panelsand is networked to one another with a radio transceiver as in a mesh, designed to ensure signal reliability. A second transceiver keeps the balloon in contact with a network station on the ground and beams an Internet signal to specialized antennas that can be placed on homes, much like a very small satellite TV receiver.
There is also a back-up transceiver and a GPS on each balloon, so Google can monitor a balloons location. And each balloon will carry weather instruments, too.
Google ran its first public test , in New Zealand, sending 30 balloons into the sky and offering 60 lucky volunteers 15 minutes of balloon-based Internet access. Smaller, private tests were conducted in California and possibly elsewhere.
The company says that "over time" it intends to set up similar pilots in countries with the same latitude as New Zealand (40th parallel south). It hasn't provided any timeline for these pilots.

A Project Loon balloon sails above a snowy New Zealand mountain range, like a jellyfish in the sky.

If Project Loon becomes a success, where does that lead Google to? Here's what they had to say at forbes.com

  1. Google will become the undisputed champion of the Internet service providers, making everything else look obsolete, and eventually getting rid of the hassles of laying down cables all around us. Think about it, right now only 1/3rd of the people on this planet are on the Internet, and still the Internet looks HUGE. Add twice the current population, plus account for the population rise in the next 5-10 years, and EVERYONE on this planet will be using the Internet, which Google provides (better quality and low costs). How about that for a business opportunity?
  2. More than triple the amount of people using the Internet would mean a massive increase in the number of Google searches (probably more than 5x if you consider the fact that when third world countries finally come online, the not so fortunate uneducated folks will get their primary source of information in the form of google.com). Now think about the money they can make with Google ads and stuff like that.
  3. Gmail, YouTube – They will witness a tremendous increase in the traffic on these sites as well. The more people using your service on the Internet, the more the money you make!
I’ve read concerns relating to this becoming an eye in the sky, which will take surveillance to a whole new level, giving the authorities the perfect tool to monitor your each and every moment. In particular, I won’t be very concerned with those because if you are on the Internet, every single thing that you do can anyways be monitored, doesn’t matter much if it’s from a control room on the land, or from way up there in the sky. Also, I kind of believe in the saying that if you ain’t doing anything wrong, then you got nothing to hide and be afraid of! But if governments start using this as a tool to monitor military movements of other countries and all that crap, then it might become a huge problem. I sincerely hope Google will find a way around it.
That said, let there be no doubt about it, it’s a revolutionary idea by Google, one that will certainly push the human race forward and bring in a new era of digital age. Fortunately for us, Google is in a position to invest in and develop breakthrough technologies in their secret Lab X, and they probably deserve every single penny worth of money that they stand to make from this.
The advantages of providing Internet to each and every human being on this planet are of gigantic proportions:
  • Information would never have been available at this ease in the history of this planet, everything just a couple of clicks away, from any corner of the world you are in.
  • Education: There are millions of poor children all over the world who haven’t even heard the word ‘school.’ Loon has the potential to become a school on the air for the under privileged.
  • Medicine: Health and hygiene information can be made easily available to the people who haven’t even heard of the word doctor.
  • Collaboration: Connecting with the remote countries and inaccessible terrains will no longer be impossible. It’ll eliminate the need to lay down cables in those areas, and live weather forecast reports in such areas would be of a great help to the locals there.
  • Costs: This technology has the potential to drastically bring down the cost of using Internet, and to increase the quality at the same time.

Google will steal the ‘connecting the world’ crown from Facebook by the end of this decade!

We believe it's possible to create a ring of balloons that fly around the globe on the stratospheric winds and provide Internet access to the earth below. Balloons present some really hard science problems, but we're excited about the progress so far.To learn more, visit: http://google.com/loon.

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Project Loon BALLOON-POWERED INTERNET FOR EVERYONE: "Connecting the world with hot air balloons" The situation Google hopes to change with Project Loon

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