Project Loon is an ambitious project that Google has been working on for many years now that aims to use balloons carrying tech to beam Internet to people on the ground in remote areas. The idea is that rather than shelling out the massive cost to run wires or other forms of internet service out to remote areas, the balloons could just float wherever Google needs them and provide service.
Recently Google invited a bunch of people out to the lab where the tech the company uses for Project Loon is made and offered information on innovations used in the project. One of the big challenges that Google has had to overcome with its Project Loon is getting the balloons to be more controllable so they can position them precisely where they need to be. The way that more control has been exerted over the balloon is by integrating AI algorithms into the control systems allowing the balloon to stay in place rather than drifting off.
This breakthrough means that fewer balloons are needed to blanket a target area with internet access. Rather than needing hundreds of balloons around the globe, all that is required to serve a specific area is 10-30 balloons. Not having to blanket the globe means that the Project Loon balloons won’t need to traverse oceans where their fancy WiFi gear is wasted.
Google’s X division did announce last year that it would be putting balloons into indonesia, but that hasn’t happened just yet. X teams up with local telecom firms for the actual internet service. Google is still working on Loon and people working on the project note that it’s not perfected just yet. With many of the X moonshot programs being cancelled, Project Loon is carrying on, for now.