Alphabet is closing Project Loon – Internet Balloon Project Loon – Its Internet Balloon Project. It used balloons to deliver internet service to areas that lack existing network infrastructure. Alphabet announced today that it was shutting down Loon given difficulties commercializing the effort.
Project Loon was officially announced in 2013 as part of Google X. It followed the Moonshot Factory to Alphabet before graduating in July of 2018. Since then, Loon has partnered with a handful of carriers around the world, and proved itself quite useful at delivering emergency internet access following natural calamites.
As per Loon Blog, The Loon team is proud to have catalyzed an ecosystem of organizations working on providing connectivity from the stratosphere. The world needs a layered approach to connectivity — terrestrial, stratospheric, and space-based — because each layer is suited to different parts of the problem. In this area, Loon has made a number of important technical contributions. This includes creating communications payloads that can connect from the stratosphere to many types of devices on the ground — from mobile phones to sailing ships to smart sprinklers — possibly paving the way for more options in unlocking the full potential of the Internet of Things. Loon also pioneered software that manages constellations of connectivity vehicles, ensuring they can provide the right service to the right area at the right time.
Loon’s technology is built on pioneering work done by others in fields from aviation to meteorology to artificial intelligence, we hope that some of Loon’s technology will live on to support the next generation of innovators. Loon’s recently-announced deep reinforcement learning navigation system has experts thinking about applications that include monitoring Earth’s vital signs and even exploration of other planets.
Thank you to everyone who joined us on this journey — especially to our many partners, regulators and governments who made this work possible. We’re incredibly grateful to you for believing in Loon and our mission of connecting people everywhere, and for taking a chance on us to build something the world has never seen before.Alastair Westgarth
This seems to be the first project that has been closed by Alphabet. Hope there are not many more.
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