Alphabet Shipping Internet To Puerto Rico By Balloon

In devastated Puerto Rico, faulty cellphone service is a pressing issue. While Tesla is working to revive the territory’s power grid, loved ones are having trouble reaching others abroad. But the country in crisis is getting the help it needs, thanks to Google’s parent company. Alphabet is bringing Internet back to Puerto Rico by balloon.

Project Loon was born in Alphabet’s moonshot X division, with the aim of serving the half of the world’s population that is still without internet access. It has launched several successful pilot projects, but has yet to be deployed commercially on a wide scale.

30 balloons will be hovering over Puerto Rico for up to 6 months. A single balloon can power up to 5,000 square kilometers of coverage. Project Loon, which is currently active in Peru, will be useful in easing communications between groups.

“Some people, even though we’ve documented the fact… that we’ve delivered food and water, it hasn’t gotten to some of them. Now, it could be for a whole host of reasons. One of them could be that they couldn’t hear it; the information didn’t get to them.” [said governor Ricardo Rosselló.]

As compared to the existing setup in Peru, Loon will experience some turbulence in Puerto Rico. It currently lacks a wireless network — but with Alphabet’s previous successes, shouldn’t be too big of an issue.

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Design Is Not Just Pretty — It’s Saving The Planet

Design: its goal may be aesthetics, but it goes way beyond just looks. It’s works like vegetable leather and zero-emissions air conditioning that make design more meaningful than it appears. Some parts of the world may look pristine, but without the sustainability to back it, they end up being wasteful. Here are reasons design is the key to saving the planet.

It’s raising awareness. As you probably learned in middle school, awareness is the best place to start when it comes to change. Things such as infographics or interactive billboards have been altering our perspectives on major issues for decades. What design does that lectures don’t always do is shake up our realities. Whether we like it or not, celebrities endorsing a cause on a poster are often more effective than anything else. But if it’s helping to improve the planet, I’m not mad at it.

If you’ve ever worn eco-fibers, you’ll know design promotes sustainability. Famous retail brands such as Nike and Merrell have started incorporating eco-friendly materials into their shoes and clothing. Much like cosmetics brand Lush, other big names have also transitioned into using minimal to no packaging. Again, if the big guns are going green, everyone else is likely to follow — which means plus points for designers.

If you hadn’t noticed, “trashion” is a big thing in the vogue world. But beyond the clothing industry, using recyclables is also popular in the realm of food. Many startups are turning waste into shopping bags or containers that can be reused to kingdom come. Some groups are even manufacturing edible packaging, which is a little weird — but a big thumbs up anyway. Recycling may not come with a posh label, but it brings an earthy and rustic charm to table.

Just like the iPhone, many others are coming out with products that can do a million things all at once. Designers are not only giving consumers what they want, they’re handing everything over in a compact fashion. Future creators are considering multifunctional commodities. Doing more with less doesn’t apply to just makeup anymore. It covers everything from home appliances to portable gadgets. After all, if you can watch TV, order a pizza, and get your laundry done with the click of a button, why not?

Beyond function and materials, design is also bringing people together. Sharing ideas is what everyone is about these days, and design is its catalyst. In a way, this also guarantees that certain goods don’t go to waste. It is now easier than ever to trade items when they are no longer wanted. Better off in someone else’s hands than in the trash. There are an endless number of websites that help users course donations to various charities. There are even services that help re-construct items that seem a little out of date.

We can no longer deny that the potential of design is exploding. I don’t just mean this in a trendy sense, but that we ought to give people in graphics, interiors, and the industrial world more credit. Anyway, without them, there would be no innovation.

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