X’s ‘Loon’ Project Is Coming To An End Due To Unforeseen Challenges

Alphabet’s ‘loon’ the balloon service that used to go up into the stratosphere and circle globe to deliver internet service through a fleet of balloons, floating on the edge of space, to the less developed areas where the infrastructure and internet services were inadequate, is being grounded due to technological as well as commercial challenges. Also, the availability of the internet has risen from 75% to 93% in a few years span.

Founded in 2013, and is one of the most admired and notable projects that Google’s X (now just X) lab has launched. But news recently broke out that Alphabet has announced to end the nine-year-old project on Thursday, due to the project being time taking and riskier than expected.

The ‘loon’ engineers used sophisticated algorithms together with US Government’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s data to navigate their internet balloons. Their most advanced technology was sending high-speed data in the form of light beams.

Astro Teller, Chairman of Loon board and the head of X said that ‘The Alphabet, Google’s parent company, is no more funding ‘Loon’ and that ‘no one wanted to pick the mantle of the balloon’.

A few years back in Puerto Rico, after a hurricane eliminated the entire internet system, loon. Also, last year in Kenya, loon launched the first commercial service, but due to some technical problems, it got ruled out.

It was those dazzling projects that assisted with producing Google's picture as Silicon Valley's most aspiring tech organization, which included driverless cars and wind power generated from, high flying cars and the internet service provided through balloons.

Made to deliver the internet service with high flying gliders, this project was discontinued due to one of their gliders doing a crash landing that exposed the underlying problems of managing a fleet of unreliable and delicate aircraft. Google X’s windpower venture called ‘Makani’ was also closed a year before the Loon’s closing.

Google has been working on ways to help the less privileged people, who live in rural areas and remote regions.

But the Loon owners do not call it a failed attempt. As Teller said,’ loon was a successful experiment’. And he rated eight out of ten for the high profile and costly business that he just killed. But it surely opened doors for new technology in the rapidly advancing world.


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