Last week I wrote a post about how modern mobile devices are changing the way continental African farmers do business. A couple days later I came across Project Loon, a daring project that aims to bring internet connectivity to remote regions of the world through solar-powered high-altitude balloons. As we saw in the last post about Kenyan farmers; access to relevant information, agronomic advancements, current prices, market trends, and prospective buyers is invaluable to farmers no matter where they live. This idea (or perhaps its successor), while still in its infancy, could bring greater connectivity to a globe that by and large remains cut off from the digital world.
Why does this matter to us and why is it posted to our blog? Here's a cool thing: who was the first person in the world to logon to the internet in the pilot program? A shepherd from New Zealand who was able to check the weather without a ten-minute-per-page load time. He's on the other side of the world but that hits close to home. Check out the first video below to see his reaction.
Project Loon: New Zealand Pilot Test
Here are a couple more videos to give you some more background on the project. Any way you cut it this is a pretty cool project.
Introducing Project Loon
Project Loon: The Technology