Efforts of Google to develop delivery drones and internet balloons are no longer just projects in the making but a real business that can offer commercial services and earn revenue. Two ventures called Loon and Wing brewing in the research lab X of Alphabet (Google’s parent company) is getting independent and will serve as separate business units. One would deliver internet service to remote areas in several regions namely Africa and the other would be a drone delivery service.
Loon was a 7-year project in the making under X starting in 2011. It utilizes solar powered, high altitude balloons to create an aerial wireless network. Its huge balloons navigate wind currents in the stratosphere approx. 13 miles above the ground to beam internet connectivity. After this, they are able to deliver internet connections to users especially in remote and disaster-stricken areas, where it is quite difficult to access fixed broadband unlimited internet network. Loon works with local telecom companies to improve cell and internet service.
Though independent, the work is pretty much the same as before for both companies, just that it will be commercialize based on their services provided. Loon will continue to work on using aerial large balloons to bring strong internet connectivity to people around the world. Loon has so far been successful in various missions across Brazil and New Zealand, covered about 18 million miles during these trips. In 2017, Loon also offered to beam internet connectivity to Peru and Puerto Rico after devastating hurricanes hit both countries.
On the other hand, the other project Wing will keep building and developing drones. Tests and reports suggest that 11-pound drones have been developed for gliding to selected destinations. They have also built 12 rotors for home deliveries. For example, Wing tested its in-home drones in Australia in 2017 and successfully delivered food and medicine to users who ordered through its delivery apps.