Google is essentially what happens when you give hardcore, old-school nerds massive piles of money they can spend any way they want. When you’ve got billions in cash, it’s easy to, say, make a music player with features no one wants or a computer to slap on your face to avoid talking to people. Or building a mystery structure on a barge, because why the hell not?
Currently we know two things. The first is that Google is building something on a barge in both San Francisco and Portland, ME out of shipping containers. The second is that it’s either something practical but kinda weird, or something absolutely bonkers, namely a floating Google Glass store:
The tipster, who is well-connected in Silicon Valley but asked to remain anonymous, told me that he had heard from multiple sources at Google that the company plans to float the Glass stores from city to city by rivers, and that the idea for the project came straight from either Larry Page or Sergey Brin, Google’s founders. Finally, he said, the idea is in part that Google wants to launch stores without looking like they are trying to chase Apple.
Honestly, it’s hard to make this call, because Google is simultaneously quite practical and really, really weird. A floating Google Glass store is a ridiculous and expensive publicity stunt, but it’s also the kind of publicity stunt that undeniably draws attention. Admit it, if this thing showed up in your city, you’d go to gawk at it and you’d probably go inside.
That said, making a Google Glass store out of shipping containers may not be entirely practical. The other alternative is that Google is building floating data backup centers; in case of a massive disaster, the barge could be towed out to sea and then brought back and reconnected. Which is somewhat more practical, but it does raise the question of why we need access to our email if a disaster so massive it’s knocked out major communication networks just happened.
We’ll likely find out sooner rather than later; Google will likely be rolling this out soon, possibly to coincide with their November 1st press event showing off the new Nexus 5 and Nexus 10 refresh. And, hey, if nothing else, it might liven up a dull workday.
(Image courtesy of YLev on Flickr)