This story is from the category Connectivity
Date posted: 19/02/2017
Researchers at Google say they are “years closer” to rolling out a network of huge balloons to provide connectivity to rural areas.
The Project Loon team, part of the company’s X research lab, said it was now able to use machine learning to predict weather systems.
It means the firm has far greater control over where its balloons go, making it possible to focus on a specific region, rather than circumnavigating the globe.
Clustering a small number of balloons greatly reduces the cost of the idea, Google’s “captain of moonshots”, Astro Teller, told reporters.
"We can now run an experiment and try to give service in a particular place in the world with ten, twenty or thirty balloons,” he said, rather than the hundreds needed previously.
“Real users” will be able to use the system in the “coming months”, he added - but he did not specify where the initial roll out would take place.
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