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Back You are here: Home Business Business News Technology Google: Loon's Development Potential

Google: Loon's Development Potential

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Project Loon launch screencap Google video

The Internet’s giant promotion of web access to developing countries is a wonderfully unconventional project, and captures the spirit of the early pioneers of air travel, immortalised in the fantastical story of the balloon adventurer in Jules Verne’s Around the World in 80 days...

Google has launched a trial project to bring Internet access to underdeveloped parts of the world...

Currently two out of three people worldwide do not have access to the web...

The idea is to bridge this gap in Internet access, and empower remote communities with the range of benefits that the Internet can bring, in terms of education, communications, etc...

The ring of high flying balloons, entitled Project Loon, has been launched in New Zealand and includes hi-tech balloons flying twice as high as the flight path of commercial aeroplanes...

Google hopes the 'loon balloons' will provide fast connections to areas that are currently without Internet access due to geography, such as mountain ranges, or lack of investment or sufficient resources...

Improving Internet access to developing countries and remote areas could have especially beneficial impacts for NGOs helping recovery following natural disasters...

The potential benefits in terms of climate mapping, conservation projects, health, education and economic development are enormous if in the hands of the right parties.

Google says serious research has gone into the project that is clearly anything but silly, despite its name...

The tech pioneer has a team in New Zealand testing the project this week...

The highly innovative project is also sustainable because the balloons are operated by wind and solar power...

Previous efforts to use balloons to provide web access have tried fixed models linked to one location...

Google’s Project Loon is unique though, because it embraces the power of high altitude winds rather than attempt to resist them...

Loon allows the balloons to move flexibly with the wind whilst operated from below, allowing them to move up and down...

Google hopes to attract collaborative interest from partners with experience in the field of providing web access to remote areas...

If the project succeeds over the long-term it could have tremendous benefits for NGOs providing long-term development solutions as well as disaster aid and recovery...

Mobile and web communications are clearly vital in an emergency...

Offering web access to remote and marginalised areas also has the opportunity to speed up the delivery of and access to education and health care...

Internet communications when used wisely can also help drive economic and business development, even as has been shown frequently, human rights and democracy...

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