No, this isn’t science-fiction. Google early on Saturday revealed plans to test the feasibility of covering the planet in high-altitude balloons to provide coverage to rural and underconnected parts of the world. It’s starting with a pilot in New Zealand, and may launch pilots in South Africa and parts of Latin America, too.
Project Loon balloons will float about 19km above the earth’s surface, twice the altitude at which commercial aircraft fly and above unpredictable atmospheric weather systems. Each pumpkin-shaped balloon is the size of a light aircraft and is roughly 15m in diametre.
Check out TechCentral’s full coverage of this story as well as the Google-supplied videos below.