You all know Google as the website where you search for information for your research projects. However Google works on a lot of other, very different stuff as well. So much so, in fact, that it started a bunch of other companies. One of these companies is called X. This group works on futuristic projects. It is focused on finding simple solutions to big global problems.
A problem they have identified: The internet is a way of life for about 1/3 people on earth. But apparently 2/3 of the people on earth do not have access to it as they live in areas that are ‘remote’ or far from power grids, sources of electricity, and wiring.
The team at Google X has designed and started something called the ‘Project Loon’, where they are sending hot air balloons (‘loon is short for ‘balloon’!) into the sky, loaded with equipment that can catch internet and cellular signals, and transmit it to receivers set up around the world. The signal from the loon can be transmitted over an area of 80 km on earth. The balloons are made to last for about 100 days, after which they are brought down to earth in a controlled descent.
They are currently testing this out in parts of the world such as Australia, the Vatican City, and Sri Lanka. Pretty cool thinking right?