It’s been captivating the tech press for a week or so now, because let’s face it, being captivated by shiny, mysterious things is pretty much the job description: Google has been building… something in Portland, ME, and in the San Francisco Bay, and people want to know what. Well, it may have leaked.
The speculation has been pretty frenzied, actually. Google has been building the structures out of shipping containers, but it’s been excessively secretive about what these things actually are. Guesses have ranged from floating data centers powered by tidal energy to floating Google Glass stores designed as a PR stunt for when Google’s face screens are finally ready for the larger market.
But nobody has actually been able to figure out what they are. Until now.
And The Mystery Barge Is…
According to sources at the Register, it will be… basically a floating showroom for Google to show off its consumer technologies. Well, uh… huh.
This is simultaneously pretty cool and kind of a letdown. The idea is that Google will pack these barges with its upcoming technologies and pull the barge from city to city so people can check out the tech for themselves and get a sense of just why they should use it.
It’s a neat idea; it gives the idea of visiting what amounts to a 3D ad a bit more of an exclusive feel, like the fair coming to town. On the other hand, this is Google, so we were hoping for something odder.
And We May Get It
That said, this IS Google; you never know what way the company is actually going to jump when it comes to these kinds of things. If the barges take off, or Google decides it’s got more to sell, there could be some very interesting things coming together in the near future. Just not quite as outre as people hoped.
Dan Seitz is an obsessive nerd living in New England. He lives in the Boston area with a fiancee, a dog, a cat, and far too many objects with processors.