Google’s Loon and Wing are real Alphabet companies now

Rural internet project Loon and delivery drone project Wing were moonshot today and will become independent companies

Rural internet project Loon and delivery drone project Wing were moonshot today and will become independent

Loon (stratospheric balloon internet) and Wing (drone delivery) are graduating Google's X-lab to become two new independent businesses within Alphabet.

Loon's huge balloons navigate wind currents in the stratosphere, roughly 13 miles above ground, to cluster around areas with poor connectivity.

While the two companies have left X, their work will remain the same with Loon using balloons to provide Internet access to remote areas and Wing building delivery drones. "Today, unlike when they started as X projects, Loon and Wing seem a long way from insane".

Wing tested the aircraft in Australia previous year, delivering burritos and medicine to customers who ordered the items on a Wing mobile app. The newly minted Alphabet division has already started making concrete progress towards that goal.

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We've previously reported on Project Wing's incremental developments, from the news that it'd be developing an air traffic control system for aerial deliveries, to physically testing it and expanding that testbed across Australia's suburbs.

Wing has struggled to flawless its technology since it began in 2012, at one point scrapping its entire design.

Alphabet wouldn't say whether Loon and Wing are generating revenue or profit, but a move out of the innovation lab suggests the two projects have become established enough to at least have a clear business plan and path to profit.

Alphabet said Loon has most recently brought Internet connectivity to people in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria devastated the island previous year. "Now that the foundational technology for these projects is built, Loon and Wing are ready to take their products into the world; this is work best done outside of the prototyping-focused environment of X".

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