Google barge sets sail for scrap yard

By Christian de Looper, Tech Times | August 1, 7:23 PM

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Google Barge

Google has abandoned plans for its East Coast barge being assembled in Portland, Maine. The barge is reportedly set to be dismantled and sold.
(Photo : Tom Hilton | Flickr)

Google is washing away plans to use a barge in Portland, Maine, to sell its augmented reality headset Google Glass and the vessel is now headed to its final destination: the scrap yard.

When the barge was discovered at the end of 2013, it set the tech world abuzz with theories and rumors about what Google could be planning for it, with suggestions including a floating data center or a hub for secret projects.

Initially Google refused to talk about the barge, but eventually the company cracked and revealed it would be used to teach people about new Google technology and to sell devices like Google Glass.

According to a new report, Google is now scrapping those plans, and the barge will soon be disassembled and scrapped after being bought by a barging company.

This is not the only barge that Google is operating. A second barge was in San Francisco Bay, after which Google was forced to relocate it to Stockton, Calif., in March due to permit issues.

Previously, the 'Glass' barge had 63 shipping containers arranged to make a four-story building, which is where Google was allegedly planning on holding a technology exhibit. Cianbro Corp. was scheduled to do interior work on the barge, including installing "technology equipment," although that work was never completed.

After the work on the barge was done, it was supposed to be towed to New York, where its doors would be opened.

According to reports, both barges were supposed to be luxurious spaces with a deck for socializing. The events would be invite-only, and would be geared toward marketing various Google gadgets.

Google is also scaling back its plans for showing off Glass due to the technology not being as well received as Google was hoping for. Google did not even mention Glass at its developer conference, Google I/O, earlier this year.

Many are hoping that Google's West Coast barge will evade the fate of its East Coast brother. This, however, may not happen -- it's been a few months since any changes to the barge have been seen.

Some see the barges as an attempt to begin competing directly with Apple's retail stores. While it may have been a means to begin doing so, it is unlikely that Google could have stolen Apple's thunder in the retail store business.

By the time it is completely dismantled and out of Google's possession, the barge will have cost the company millions of dollars.

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