A giant barge floating near Treasure Island in the San Francisco Bay area has many puzzled. What is it? Who’s building it? Why is it there? The questions are endless, and so are the answers.

While many speculated it was a floating data center, local news station KPIX is claiming otherwise. Citing people familiar with what Google is doing, they say the barge amy actually be a Google Glass retail environment. Another source, an “insider” with the Bay Conservation and Development Commission, notes that while the barge is massive and expensive, Google has been coy about their intent. While the Commission has spoken with Google about “hypothetical operations” for the massive structure, Google hasn’t opened up about their intent as of yet.

The issue with a floating store/education center for Glass seems to be the rules themselves. Google first needs to define the purpose and scope of the barge if they intend to dock it, and doing so for an extended period of time could be deemed “bay fill”. Sources tell KPIX that the bay cannot be used for anything that can be built on land, and it seems that whatever is being housed out there fits that criteria.

With a few interesting leaks, it’s important to remember that we still have no idea what that thing is, much less why it exists. What is interesting is that should sources prove reliable, Google is speaking about operations for the barge, which means they intend to use it. The original story noted that Google didn’t have any direct ties to the hangar responsible for the building of this barge, or the existence itself.

VIA: The Verge

  • Phil Blank

    Yep its true.

    On the site DataCenterKnowledge click the patent link for the info
    Dated: September 6th, 2008

    Google Planning Offshore Data BargesIn a startling new take on data center engineering, Google has filed a patent
    for a “water-based data center” that uses the ocean to provide power and
    cooling. The patent also confirms Google’s development of a container-based data center, describing “crane-removable modules” to power the computing platforms.

    • sniper74

      Just because they have a patent on it doesn’t mean they are actually engaged in building one. Anyone can patent anything they want.

  • Nobody’s Business

    With the barge, Google can operate in international waters, and finally reveal to all users what countries have been censoring or spying from the public. Sort of like how if you use Google in China (using Hong Kong’s instance), it’s clear when your links are blocked, that which part of the internet is being censored.

    Imagine that being done for USA also. Gag orders, what not, will not have authority on the barge’s data center.

    It’s the last bastion for freedom of speech. Of course, if this happens, eventually there will be war; but it’ll be decades away at least.