Google’s Nexus S works fine at 60,000 feet: Report


London : Google techies have been taken by pleasant surprise after Nexus S, the new Android smart phone the company launched early December, was found ticking even from the Earth’s outer atmosphere – at 60,000 feet.

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The tiny Androids strapped to seven payloads to test the outer limits of Nexus S were carried into the Earth’s outer atmosphere using weather balloons, the Daily Mail reported.

“We wanted an opportunity to collect some interesting data about the sensors in Nexus S – GPS, gyroscope, accelerometer, and magnetometer,” the report quoted Zi Wang of Google Android as saying.

The phones were running a variety of applications such as Google maps for Mobile 5.0 (with offline map data), which allowed the team to check what was directly below the balloon and Google sky map to identify the stars and report their location.

It was found that Nexus S could withstand temperatures as low as minus 50 degrees celsius, while the GPS kept track of the phone up to 60,000 ft and started working again on the balloon’s descent, the report said.

The balloons reached heights of over 100,000 feet and travelled at up to a speed of 139 mph at the top of their flight.

They were equipped with still and video cameras. Footage published last week showed the moment when the helium-filled balloons popped and the plucky “Android astronauts” plummeted back to the Earth.

All seven high-altitude balloons were launched Nov 13. The average flight lasted two hours and 40 minutes with the descent taking around 34 minutes, said the report.

The Android team managed to locate all the payloads by using windcharts and GPS beacons, which transmitted the latitude and longitude of the balloon every two minutes.

The Google Nexus S is the first Android 2.3 smartphone (using the Gingerbread operating system). It was launched Dec 22 at 429.99 pounds for a SIM-free phone or free on 30 pounds a month contracts.