A Google spokesperson told TechCrunch that the barges are ‘an interactive space’ to teach people about its technology:
Google Barge … A floating data center? A wild party boat? A barge housing the last remaining dinosaur? Sadly, none of the above. 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.
The statement matches up with sources we spoke to last week, who were still uncertain about the exact uses that all of the barges would be put to in the end. A report by The Los Angeles Times’ Chris O’Brien last week noted that most of the reporters going after this barge story had been looking at the wrong San Francisco lease.