Google to relaunch project Loon, mulling to start maiden test soon

The existing project head has been replaced by Alastair Westgarth, erstwhile CEO of Quintel.


Project Loon was one of the most ambitious experimental projects undertaken by Google in a bid to ensure that even in the remotest corners of the world, people would be able to enjoy high-speed internet connectivity. The idea was to have network balloons dispersed everywhere which will give high-speed internet to people on the ground, who will be able to browse with a speed as high as 10MBPS through their smartphones. However, things took back seat as Alphabet, the parent company of Google, decided to let go of the project head Tom Moore, who was brought in just six months ago to head this project and replaced him by Alastair Westgart, erstwhile CEO of Quintel.

These measures appear to be part of the steps which are taken by Google after realising that they needed to scale back and rethink their previous agenda of having a communications service which would encompass the entire earth with high-altitude balloons. Previously, concerns were raised that these high altitude balloons will be at the mercy of the climate and they were no matter how advanced they are, may drift off. In a recent interview given to C/net, the scientists involved with the project said that they were using artificial intelligence to control the movement of these balloons thus minimising the chances of it drifting away.

Although there has been major buzz regarding this ambitious project since its inception in 2013, no words have yet surfaced on when this project will actually be ready for commercial use. Astro Teller, head of X, the Alphabet subsidiary which looks over this project, said to CNET that there may be a maiden test carried out in the next few months but was not able to provide any concrete indication of assurance.

This article was first published on March 12, 2017