Google has unveiled the latest project to come out of the Google X labs, named "Project Loon." It involves sending giant balloons up to beam down internet access to remote areas of the planet. They will provide a more cost effective solution for wireless coverage in regions, that would otherwise be difficult due to location.
Google says the system architecture for making this possible has already been built, carrying the balloon to 60,000 feet, where it will deliver internet speeds "similar to today's 3G networks or faster." Of course, balloons are not immune to the elements, and can drift; but there is a fix. Using "complex algorithms and lots of computing power," the company say these balloons can move where they're needed using a mix of wind and solar power.
The Balloons use "specialised antennas," unlike any traditional wi-fi or cellular technology before it, to receive and transmit internet signals. As it's beamed down, internet providers in the area can take the signal and circulate it to users.
The pilot program has already begun in New Zealand, where Google have launched 30 balloons for 50 testers. They hope to experiment in more locations "over time."
A literal definition of 'Skynet' by Google.