Tag Archives: Web

Internet – Beyond the Horizons

Is Sky the Limit? Well Google has been challenging this proposition with its highly innovative products but this time it does so quite literally with its Project Loon.

What is Project Loon?

Google who specializes in Internet related services and products, through this pilot project aims to make Internet accessibility possible in far fledged regions. If the experiment is successful, it can usher in a new revolution in how we access Internet.

Under this project, a network of balloons positioned in space is likely to facilitate Internet accessibility on earth. The project is currently implemented in New South Island, New Zealand with 50 pilot testers and 30 balloons

How does it work?

Project Loon balloons are approximately 20 kms above earth’s surface into the stratosphere.

Stratosphere comprises of different layers of wind with each layer having a different magnitude as well as direction of the wind. Selection of a particular layer for a balloon is controlled by complex computing algorithms from the earth.

Three important components here are:

  1. Envelope: It is the inflatable part of the balloon. Project Loon’s balloon envelopes are made from sheets of polyethylene plastic and are typically 15m wide and 12 m tall
  2. Solar Panels: Solar panels basically keep the show running here. Positioned between the hardware and the panel has a capacity to produce 100 watts of power in full sun
  3. Equipment: Beneath the envelope lies the heart of the mechanism i.e. the box containing the circuitry. This box contains circuit boards that control the system, radio antennas to communicate with other balloons and with Internet antennas on the ground, and batteries to store solar power so the balloons can operate during the night.

Each balloon can provide connectivity to a ground area about 40 km in diameter with speeds equivalent to 3G

Balloon-to- Balloon as well as Balloon-to-Ground communication is possible through antennas using specialized radio frequency technology and currently uses ISM bands specifically 2.4 and 5.8 GHz bands.

The project if successful will not revolutionize how we use Internet but also why, where and when do we use it. It would be interesting to know how best this can be leveraged in the aerospace.



Responsive Web Page – The next level of optimization

A few years ago and a company could do away with a formal website. But nowadays we observe that it’s a point of parity rather than being a point of differentiation.  With increased penetration of Smartphones, Tabs and Ipads, the modern day consumer is now becoming more Techno-Savvy and also better web enabled. He no longer accesses the web pages from his desktop alone but also from the gizmos mentioned above.

From a marketers perspective this is great news as you are able to reach out to a greater audience and that too at the consumer’s convenience. But here lies the catch, the underlying technology does play a spoilsport sometimes.

Many a times it is found that the web pages for Smartphones are not suitably optimized and users have to zoom in and zoom out to check out the content. Companies do need to understand that this too is a critical touch point and in case of highly competitive landscape a bad web experience can wean away your customers.

The most feasible solution from a layman’s perspective would be to have a web page that would automatically respond to the environment in which the page is being browsed and change its size and dimensions accordingly rather than the user having to engage himself in this frustrating experience.

Well this thought is now a reality and the solution comes in the form ‘Responsive Web Page’. The best one line that I can relate to for this solution is ‘one size fits all ‘. Keeping the technical aspects of it aside let us understand how exactly does this work.

With Responsive web pages, there will be only ‘one’ website but with components that are likely to respond differently when viewed from a 17 inch screen or a 14 inch screen.

Let us take an example of a consumer durable company focussing 9 of its products on its website in a 3X3 matrix i.e. 3 rows and 3 columns. Now a responsive web page when viewed from a Smartphone may just have a single column when viewed vertically or two columns when viewed horizontally. The user is therefore saved from the cumbersome experience of scrolling and zooming on the desired page

Although Responsive Web pages do provide an enhanced customer experience, it definitely comes with a cost. Before going for one, a thorough research can help in understanding the end user preferences in terms of various web enabled devices used and also how significant is their usage in browsing experience.

With web technology being easily assimilated by us, a one stop solution like Responsive web pages definitely is very promising and offers great potential of wider acceptability in near future.

Heres a link to Social Drivers 50 best Web Responsive pages for 2013