Report: Google Mystery Barge A Party Boat, Not A Data Center
The structure on a ship off of Treasure Island. (Photo: Jordan Novet)

Report: Google Mystery Barge A Party Boat, Not A Data Center

That mysterious "Google Barge" in the San Francisco Bay? It's apparently not a water-based data center, but a Google Glass promotion featuring high-tech showrooms and a "party deck."

The structure on a ship off of Treasure Island. (Photo: Jordan Novet)

The mysterious barge berthed at Treasure Island in San Francsco, which reportedly will be a high-tech showcase for Google Glass, and not a data center. (Photo: Jordan Novet)

That mysterious "Google Barge" in the San Francisco Bay? It's apparently not a water-based data center, but a Google Glass promotion featuring high-tech showrooms and a "party deck." That's the word from San Francisco TV station KPIX, which reports that the barge will be an exclusive, invitation-only showcase for Google's new wearable technology.

That's consistent with recent discussions with data center experts, who say Google would be unable to procure enough power to operate a working data center in San Francisco, which appears to be where the barge will stay. Google has had discussions about docking the barge at Fort Mason, a former military facility across from Alcatraz, according to The Verge.

That's a clear sign it's not a production data center, according to Mark Bramfitt, a former PG&E executive who now works as a consultant on power procurement for data centers.

"There is no power capacity at Fort Mason to serve a data center of this size," said Bramfitt. "I'm guessing, but this might be an 'immersive' experience site for Google Glass. You go in and are presented with a variety of scenarios that show the tech to high advantage."

That's what KPIX is reporting, citng "mulyiple sources" who say the barge will be filled with glittering showrooms, topped by a rooftop party deck offering bars and lanais for VIPs, who can enjoy scenic views of Alcatraz and the Golden Gate Bridge.

"The project, which has been in the planning stages for more than a year, was created at Google[x], the secret facility that Google reportedly runs near its corporate headquarters in Mountain View," KPIXreports. "It is personally directed by Google co-founder Sergey Brin and is Google’s attempt to upstage rival Apple and its chain of popular retail stores, sources said."

CNet initially reported that the barge, which is stacked high with shipping containers, may be a floating data center being built by Google. A nearly identical facility has appeared in a harbor in Portland, Maine

For those just joining the story, see our previous coverage:

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