Google Space blasts off at Heathrow

Google Space, an Internet kiosk service, made its debut in Terminal One of London's Heathrow airport Thursday.

The web giant's latest project, Google Space, made its debut in Terminal One of Heathrow airport Thursday. An area where holidaymakers and business travellers can sample the company's various services, Google Space will be at the airport until 17 December.

Research by Tickbox.net, commissioned by Google, suggests that travellers spend an average of nine hours a year waiting for flights.

Lorraine Twohill, the European Director of Marketing Programs, said: "People waste so much time hanging around in airports. Google Space will help make that wasted time useful."

Visitors to Google Space will be able to check their email, find information about their destination and log onto the internet for free. A pilot scheme, Google Space is also geared to providing Google with feedback about its services.

"It's a world's first," Andy Ku, Product Manager for Europe, told PC Advisor. "If it works, then we'll be rolling it out in other places too."

Visitors are asked questions about the services they use -- including Picasa, Google Maps and Google Earth -- and how they think they could be improved. Feedback generated by Google Space will be used to prioritize engineers' time when developing the services.

It'll have gone from Terminal One by the time the Christmas exodus begins but if you happen to be in Heathrow and get a chance to visit, you won't be prevented from using competitor's services. "We want to provide a service that is as useful as possible", said Ku. "We helped one lady send a mail from her AOL account."

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Ben Camm-Jones

PC Advisor (UK)
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