When you mention Google, what comes into your mind? Chances are, we will think about Google being the first and foremost search engine authority in the world, and that is absolutely correct. The thing is, Google's foray into making humankind live better surpasses more than delivering accurate as well as relevant search results. Without Google, we would not have Android, and consequently, this website would be pretty much non-existent. Google has invested heavily in different services such as Google Maps to help the masses get around for free even if you are in unfamiliar territory. It seems that the team at Google has a brand new challenge to whet their appetite this time around - by offering the clever use of Google Blimps to form a vast wireless network across the continents of Africa and Asia.
How will Google do it?
Just how will these high-altitude balloons and blimps come into play? Well, since Google is a cash rich company, they fully intend to finance, build and assist in the operation of networks which will start from sub-Saharan Africa all the way to Southeast Asia, where the noble aim of hooking up approximately a billion people to the web could very well be possible. Of course, I forsee potential challenges such as those folks living in remote areas - do they really think that they need the Internet in the first place? Other than that, how are you going to power up your devices when you are in the middle of the jungle? Solar panels have yet to reach dizzying heights of efficiency to date.
Will there be any side effects?
In order to kick off this particular campaign, Google has been hard at work piecing together an ecosystem of low-cost smartphones which are powered by Android (what did you expect, iOS or Windows Phone?) on low-power microprocessors. Thinking outside of the box and ditching the traditional infrastructure, Google's signal will be carried by high-altitude platforms, namely balloons and blimps, which will then transmit to areas of hundreds of square kilometres. I wonder whether there are any long term effects on these wireless signal bombardment across a swathe of Africa and Asia. After all not enough studies have been made as to whether strong Wi-Fi signals would carry the risk of certain diseases.
Google has did mull over the possibility of relying on satellites to achieve a similar goal, where an unnamed source said, "There's not going to be one technology that will be the silver bullet." Mark Zuckerberg would be more than pleased if this effort takes off in a spectacular way, since he will then be able to rope in more users to his growing Facebook army.