Photos, video and a brief history of Google’s formerly secret Fiber Space
Google Fiber's Kansas City hub, situated on the state line, was unknown to most until Thursday.
The high-tech haven where Google introduced the world to its latest pet project once housed hot yoga classes.
The building across the parking lot, which will provide a place for curious Kansas Citians to check out Google's new line of tech tools, was previously a 24/7 fitness center.
These unassuming spots in a converted shopping center are now the epicenter of Google Fiber activity in Kansas City, the high-speed internet equivalent of a car dealership's showroom floor.
What's it gonna take for me to get you into Google Fiber today?
And, like so much else surrounding the Google Fiber project in Kansas City, the buildings were a mystery to most until Thursday. Although Google purchased the structures and began remodeling them for Fiber-related functions some time ago, it wasn't until the 11th hour — literally, under the cover of darkness Wednesday night before the announcement Thursday morning — that the company slapped Google Fiber signage and multi-colored trim on the exterior of the buildings.
But by Thursday afternoon, there's no mistaking what this place is. Representatives buzz around the Fiber hive in Google-branded baseball shirts, greeting guests and sharing insights about Google's new network, which will deliver internet (and television) service to Kansas City homes at speeds 100 times faster than normal broadband.
This so-called "Fiber Space" (1814 Westport Road), situated just steps east of the Missouri-Kansas border, is of special significance over the next six weeks because of the manner in which Google is rolling out Fiber in Kansas City. The company says it will deploy service first to the "Fiberhoods" that show the greatest interest, measured by the percentage of residents in each neighborhood that plop down a $10 registration fee for the service between Thursday and Sept. 9. For those people who want a better idea of what they're registering for, the "Fiber Space" is open seven days a week (starting Saturday) to provide just that.
And for those who can't make it out to the Fiber Space, we have a glimpse of it below. First there's a short video courtesy of video blogger Ramsey Mohsen of Digital Evolution Group. Following that are several photos we snapped Thursday at the Google Fiber announcement.
Crowds and media begin to trickle into one of Google Fiber's presentation space Thursday morning.
Google delivered its hour-long, carefully scripted Fiber presentation from a sleek, high-tech stage.
A piece used in a Google Fiber promo video serves as an art installation in the Fiber Space.
In one nook of the Fiber Space, demonstrations of the service's "wellness and education" potential take place.
The network box (from bottom), TV box and storage box power Google Fiber and Google Fiber TV.
People get comfortable using Fiber in one of the building's living room-like setups.
A map of "Fiberhoods" shows how Google divided Kansas City to organize pre-registration and determine which areas recieve Fiber first. One observer said Thursday Google was processing 8-10 pre-registrations per minute.
Google's Fiber Space opens to the public on Saturday. Hours of operation are 10 a.m.-8 p.m. on Saturdays and noon-8 p.m. Sunday-Friday.
Credits: Video by Ramsey Mohsen. Photos by Michael Stacy.