Secret of Google's SF barge discovered: report

Mike Krumboltz

Call off the Hardy Boys. The mystery of Google's barge has apparently been solved.

The barge, currently floating near San Francisco in a haze of intrigue, will be used to market the tech giant's Google Glass and other gizmos, KPIX-5 reported.

Using shipping containers as buildings, the barge will feature luxury showrooms and a "party deck." Its progress has been overseen by co-founder Sergey Brin. Eat your heart out, Apple stores.

The party deck up top will have "bars, lanais and other comforts so Google can fete its upscale customers." 

Google, which is headquartered south of San Francisco in Mountain View, Calif., has been working on the barge project for more than a year, according to KPIX.

So, what does it look like? There are no interior photos yet (sheesh, not even a Google Earth shot of the roof?), but a KPIX source described the barge as having three floors that will serve as "dazzling showrooms." Based on the source's descriptions (chrome features and floor lighting), the top floor sounds a bit like a disco. Somebody get a YouTube of Brin torching the dance floor, please.

The barge's buildings can also apparently be reconfigured in any number of ways.

From KPIX:

The building is constructed of interchangeable 40-foot shipping containers that can be assembled and disassembled at will, allowing it to be placed on barges, trucks or rail cars and taken anywhere in the world, the source said. Google could send it to a ski resort one day and then have it shipped to the beach a few days later.

Before the report from KPIX, some believed the barge would be used as an offshore data center that could take advantage of the bay's naturally cool temperatures.

There's no word on when the barge will be open for business or if passengers will be given Android-equipped life jackets.