Despite the many grandiose ideas that have come out since the media attained photos and information on two mysterious barges connected to Google, the company has finally spilled the beans. Unlike what many people had hoped, the barges will not be used for water-cooled data centers. Instead, they will house interactive learning centers.
What is interesting, however, is the open-ended press release provided by Google. Although the company notes that it is currently planning on using the barges for the learning centers, it seemed to imply that those plans could change before it actually opens the barges to the public.
Not A Data Center
According to its press release entitled, "Google Barge . . . A floating data center? A wild party boat? A barge housing the last remaining dinosaur? Sadly, none of the above.” Google will be using the structures, which are currently being built on the East and West coasts, for learning centers, where people can try out new technologies.
For the past month, people have assumed that Google would be using the barges for data centers, and there were definitely reasons for that assumption. First of all, the identical structures still seem to be an odd shape and size to accommodate people going in and out of them. And various engineers expressed their doubts that the barges could be used for showrooms. Combine that with the fact that Google has a patent for an ocean-cooled data center, and the idea of using it for a learning center seemed unlikely.
The learning center plan fits with rumors suggesting Google would use the barges as showrooms for Google Glass (and any similar devices). Now that Google has released some information on the structures, we know that the company will indeed outfit the barges with tons of its latest technologies.
Open To Speculation
Google's press release did very little to ease speculation surrounding what the barges will be used for, as the company stated, "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."
"Exploring" the potential to use the barges for interactive learning centers is by no means saying that the plans are set in stone. For all we know, Google may be using these plans as a way to dampen the speculation until it is ready to actually announce its real intentions.
It is possible that the structures will house showrooms but there are some definite issues with that idea. Tech publications have already spoken with engineers who simply cannot see the barges housing any sort of showroom.
For now, we will have to take Google's word for it and assume that the barges are meant for learning centers, but the company's own press release definitely leaves room for speculation.
Posted: 2013-11-07 @ 1:28pm PT
It's a holodeck!
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HoloDeck ver 0.1 Alpha