Google launched Google Space at Heathrow's Terminal One airport yesterday.

The space is an area where holidaymakers and business travellers can sample the company's various services. Google Space will be at the airport until December 17.

Announcing the scheme, Google cited research it commissioned from which suggests travellers spend an average of nine hours a year waiting for flights.

European director of marketing programs Lorraine Twohill said: "People waste so much time hanging around in airports. Google Space will help make that wasted time useful."

Visitors to Google Space can check 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, like a giant focus group. Google-trained staff are on hand to help users.

"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 prioritise engineers' time when developing the services.