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Google Internet Cafe at London Airport

In a unique experiment to gather live user feedback, Google has opened an Internet Cafe - Google Space at Terminal One of Heathrow Airport in London. Google products being shown at Google Space include Google Earth, Google Local, Google Toolbar, Picasa and Google Mobile.

Google Space will be running at Terminal 1 until 17th December, with Google staff on hand to offer advice and assistance to users. The 10 Samsung laptops in the temporary installation will be manned from 0700 to 1900 by Google employees from across the organisation, with some flown in especially to help out.

Although the search specialist claims the project is primarily about helping travellers use their time more productively at the airport, it admitted that Google Space will also act as a physical testing lab for its new applications.

Photograph of Google Internet Cafe at Heathrow, LondonAlthough the company chose Heathrow for the project, other areas which attract large numbers of people with time on their hands were considered, including train stations and doctors' surgeries. If the pilot proves successful, Google may roll-out Space projects in some other locations.

Google Space consists of ten Samsung laptops in the public lounge of Terminal One at London's main airport. Lorraine Twohill, Google's European Director of Marketing Programmes, said: "People waste so much time hanging around in airports. Google Space will help people make that wasted time useful. And for Google, Space is a live lab where people can test our most up-to-date products, and give us their feedback".