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Google says floating barge for showing off new tech

4:15 PM, Nov 6, 2013   |    comments
A barge under construction is docked at a pier on Treasure Island on October 30, 2013 in San Francisco, California. Mystery barges with construction of shipping containers have appeared in San Francisco and Portland, Maine, prompting online rumors that the barges are affiliated with a Google project. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
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SAN FRANCISCO -- Google broke its silence on the floating barge structure it is building in San Francisco Bay.

"Google Barge ... A floating data center? A wild party boat? A barge housing the last remaining dinosaur? Sadly, none of the above," Google said in a statement. "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."

The structure was discovered in late October, prompting a visit from the U.S. Coast Guard. A second barge has been spotted in Portland, Maine. Their appearance sparked wide-spread speculation that Google was building floating data centers to fuel its rapid Internet search results.

However, local CBS affiliate KPIX reported Nov. 1 that the San Francisco barge will boast a party deck and showrooms to market Google Glass and other gadgets. Google's statement Wednesday mostly confirmed this.

Google may be building extravagant gadget showrooms to compete with Apple, which has had huge success with its carefully designed retail stores.

Google is designing and selling more of its own gadgets, including the ground-breaking Glass wearable technology. Such devices often require retail locations where consumers can try them out and be taught by sales staff how to use them.

USA TODAY

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