'Google Barge' gets killed off, company scraps its floating showroom

It's been a while since we heard anything about the 'Google Barge'. Back in February, we reported that authorities had demanded its removal from San Francisco Bay as it contravened local laws regarding the types of vessels and structures that are permitted in the Bay. 

It was later towed from San Francisco to Stockton, where it remains, although according to the port director, Richard Aschieris, there has been no further development on it since its relocation. 

But as the Portland Press Herald reports, Google's second barge, located in Portland harbour, has reached the end of its journey with the company. Google said in November that the barges were intended to provide "an interactive space where people can learn about new technology". When completed, the Portland barge was destined to be towed to New York to serve as a floating showroom for the company's most exciting technologies, such as Google Glass

Those plans have now been abandoned. Cianbro Corp. was originally intended to refit the interior of the barge in Portland, but very little work was ever carried out on it. The structure of shipping containers on top of the vessel - assembled to create a multi-story building - will now be dismantled and scrapped, while the barge itself has been sold off to an 'international barging company', and will soon leave Portland for its new home. 

It is not yet clear exactly what Google has in store for the barge that was previously in San Francisco. However, it is owned by the same company - By And Large LLC - that has now sold the Portland barge, and given the lack of development work since its move to Stockton, it seems likely that it will suffer a similar fate. 

As far back as December of last year, Google was said to have put the barge project 'on hiatus'

Source: Portland Press Herald via The Next Web | image via Digital Trends

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Would love to know whose brilliant idea this was to start with. From the first story I read about these I could strongly smell fail.

Google is the master of scrapping products. In this particular case I am not too worried as I didn't know about it in the first place.

Got an invite for Google domains yesterday and half tempted to move my domains from Godaddy but with Google's track record of discontinuing services with no good reason; I am a little hesitant.

The issue was the eyesore problem - not necessarily practicality. Display ships (for historical reasons) can be tourist attractions (examples - the Intrepid Sea/Air/Space Museum); however , barges look like barges - which is a problem for ANY shore city, let alone high-real-property-value San Francisco and Stockton. (Remember, the planning for offshore windfarming off Cape Cod ran aground for the same reason.) Also, what is the commercial retail property market in both cities? Barges are a threat to that, due to their costing less than a fixed space. There is STILL a lot of NIMBYism - even when the idea is sound, about anything that seems to not fit into the aesthetics of an area.

Nik L said,
Nope, their services are opt-in. Pun fail!
Their service* is opt-in. If you opt in for one of them, you get all of them. Sign up for Youtube and you're already using Google+ behind the scenes without even knowing it for example.

Nik L said,
Nope, their services are opt-in. Pun fail!

You have no idea how many record companies wish that they could get off YouTube...

scumdogmillionaire said,
With a one way ticket only :)

You don't need a ticket to slowly fall back down to earth in your space suit ;).

I wish they did something cool with it not that it matters because its Googs. Maybe others would have followed with some futuristic buildings.