Journalists and analysts alike had a fun time speculating about the two barges connected to Google just a few weeks ago. Since pictures and information came out regarding the barges, people assumed that Google was building two floating water-cooled data centers.
Despite having a patent for this sort of data center, Google is not actually using the barges for storing information and data, instead it says they will use them for “learning centers.” These learning centers will be used to showcase Google’s latest technologies such as Google Glass or other wearable tech devices coming down the pipeline.
“A floating data center? A wild party boat? A barge housing the last remaining dinosaur? Sadly, none of the above,” said Google in its statement from earlier today. “Although it’s still early days and things may change, we’re exploring using the barge as an interactive space where people can learn about new technology.”
Google’s careful wording in its statement definitely leaves open the potential for the barges to be used for something else, but for now, it seems as though they will indeed be used as showrooms. Even though Google plans to use them as such, engineers had previously stated their concerns regarding the use of these structures for showrooms since the refurnished shipping containers cannot fit many people.
Other wild theories such as a potential Google party boat were thrown around, but the data center theory actually made quite a bit of sense. Google has held a patent for a data center cooled down by ocean water for years, so these barges suggested they might be used that way.
Currently there are barges on the east coast (Maine) and west coast (California), but it is possible that Google will open up more floating showrooms as it expands into new high-tech markets.
As these structures have been in the works for a while and are progressing quickly, Google may open them to the public in the near future for the full launch of Google Glass. Since an oceanfront view is a great backdrop for people trying out Google Glass, these showrooms could be quite successful with die-hard Google fans.
Prior to today’s announcement, we had only been able to speculate about Google’s involvement in the barges, so it is nice that we finally have some concrete, albeit limited, information.