The mysterious barges that popped up outside of San Francisco and off of the coast of Maine are indeed owned by Google, according to a spokesperson who spoke to TechCrunch, but the story behind them has been blown out of proportion a little bit.
When reports of the barges first surfaced, several news outlets suggested they were going to be top-secret facilities that Google could use to wine and dine wealthy customers who might be interested in buying products from Google's secret Project X labs.
That's not really the case, and it sounds like the barges are far less interesting. No, there won't be luxurious soirees on these barges and no, they aren't amazing new floating data centers. "Google barge… a floating data center? A wild party boat? A barge housing the last remaining dinosaur? Sadly, none of the above," a Google spokesperson told TechCrunch. "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."
That's actually good news. We hope Google opens the barges up to the public so that general consumers can walk in and try new technology, such as Google Glass, which is still prohibitively expensive for most consumers, and other fun products Google may be working on.