Skip to main content

Google Building Floating Google Glass store on San Francisco's bay!

The mystery surrounding a large structure built on a barge docked in San Francisco bay is deepening. Is it a floating Google data center? A floating Google Glass store? Or something else altogether?
A company, very likely Google, has set up shop on Treasure Island, located between San Francisco and Oakland, and has been building a large structure made from shipping, or cargo, containers on a barge. Some evidence suggests it might be a floating data center, including the fact that Google itself has a patent for such a concept.Google has not responded to multiple requests for comment.The Portland (Maine) Press Herald also ran a story recently about a structure on a barge showing up there, and photographs taken by the newspaper look similar to what is being built in the San Francisco Bay. Plus, the barge being used in San Francisco and the barge in Maine are both owned by the same company, By and Large, which is leasing a large hangar adjacent to the Treasure Island pier on which the San Francisco barge is docked. I found that Tim Brandon, who was said by the Treasure Island Development Authority to be tied to By and Large, was also tied directly to Google.

Now, a report from KPIX -- the San Francisco CBS affiliate -- suggests that the Treasure Island project may not be a floating data center at all. Rather, KPIX -- owned by CNET parent CBS -- reported that the project is going to be a floating Google Glass store, and that the plan might be to tow it into San Francisco's Fort Mason for some indeterminate time.KPIX reported that Google has been unable to acquire the permits needed to bring it to San Francisco. The TV station was told that the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission has been unwilling to grant the permit. A CNET request for comment from the same commission last week was not returned.The idea of a floating Glass store is an odd one, but anything is possible from Google. In fact, after our story ran on Friday, I was contacted by someone who said he had knowledge that the project in the works is a Google store of some kind. 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.
If Google is working on building intentionally non-Apple style stores -- usually open and filled with natural light -- it's possible Google is going after an entirely different retail experience by making structures out of dozens of narrow shipping containers with few windows.
But one expert in the custom cargo container business thinks that the structure in San Francisco Bay -- at least as it looked like in pictures he was shown -- couldn't be used to hold a lot of people. To have a store, said Joel Egan, the principal at Cargotecture, you'd need big open spaces, and a building made from the "little cubbies" that are inside shipping containers doesn't seem practical. Plus, Egan said, there would need to be lots of exits, something that doesn't appear to the case on the structure in San Francisco Bay, or the one in Maine. "I would say no, it doesn't [look appropriate for a store]," Egan said. "It would be a lame store. That doesn't sound right."


Popular posts from this blog

LG’s first flexible OLED phone due before the year is out

LG plans to launch a flexible OLED smartphone before the end of the year, the company’s VP of mobile has confirmed, though it’s unclear to what extent the work-in-progress handset will actually flex. The OLED panel in question is the handiwork of LG Display according to VP of LG mobile Yoon Bu-hyun, the WSJ  reports, with the proposed device set to launch sometime in Q4. LG Display’s work on flexible OLEDs has been underway for some time, though the company’s efforts have perhaps been overshadowed somewhat by rival Samsung’s YOUM development. Last year, according to a Korea Times report, LG Display was preparing for

Bing Apps for Windows 8 get major updates

Late least year, Microsoft rolled out a half dozen Bing Apps for Windows 8 users, each one focused on a specific category, such as travel and sports. The apps were designed to offer “immersive vertical experiences,” and now, about six months later, a big line of updates for them is being pushed out. Users can grab the updates now by heading into the Windows Store and selecting the updates notification.

Syrian Electronic Army claims credit for CBS Twitter accounts hack

Yesterday, several of CBS ’s Twitter accounts were hacked, including its main account, and its accounts for 60 Minutes, 48 Hours, and CBS Denver. The hackers got into the account and tweeted a series of things relating to President Obama and the United States being in cahoots with Al-Qaeda . The tweets also had links that led users to malware-infested sites. While CBS was able to regain access to its accounts, it was unable to figure out who was behind the attacks, until now. The Syrian Electronic Army , the same group that hacked 3 of the BBC’s Twitter accounts, claimed