There’s a plan for Google’s failed balloon-based internet, and it involves lasers

Image of a balloon floating in front of a snow-covered mountain range.
Satellites are the new balloons. | Image: Alphabet

Alphabet’s Loon project, which aimed to provide internet via a series of balloons, was shut down last year — but the tech associated with it has been spun off into a startup that ditches the floating platforms and aims to use lasers and the cloud to provide internet to remote places. The company inheriting the Google tech is called Aalyria, and while CNBC reports that Alphabet has a minority stake in it, it’s no longer going to be a direct subsidiary of Google’s shell company.

Aalyria has two main focuses: Tightbeam, a laser communications system that uses beams of light to transmit data between base stations and endpoints, and Spacetime, the cloud-based software that’s meant to juggle constantly changing connections. Spacetime was o…

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Author: Mitchell Clark