Google has admitted that at least one of its mystery barges (there are currently four registered, apparently) will host “interactive space[s] where people can learn about new technology.” Now, we’re privy to a glimpse at what that might look like, thanks to documents obtained by the San Francisco Chronicle. As you can see, the structure, which is made from recycled shipping containers and features vast sail-like structures, is about as forward-thinking as the Google Glass devices it will likely house (among others).
The plans for the structure claim that it’s designed to host up to 1,000 visitors a day, with stays lasting around a month at various locations around San Francisco. Locations proposed in the documents for it to visit include Fort Mason, Angel Island, Redwood City, and Richmond, as well as eventual destinations down the road including San Diego and other stopovers along the U.S. West Coast.
You can just make out how the shipping containers will be repainted and stacked to form that central structure, which is said to measure 50 feet in height, and 250 feet in length. The sails are meant to “remind visitors that they are on a seaworthy vessel,” according to the design firm in the documents obtained by the Chronicle, rather than to channel dimensional energies to create a bridge between worlds, which was my first guess as to their purpose. Those sails would be lowered in bad weather, too, presumably to prevent gusts of wind pulling the barge and its cargo of would-be Explorers out to sea.
This is a very preliminary plan, according to a San Francisco Port spokesperson speaking to the Chronicle, so don’t expect to be able to set sail with Google on a journey of discovery tomorrow. There are lots and lots of forms to fill out and red tape to cut through before anyone can step foot in one of these and put a pair of Google Glass on their face. But if the finished project looks anything like this, then Google will have moved very quickly from having almost no brick-and-mortar customer-facing presence, to having one of the most ostentatious storefront-style experiences in human history.