Samsung 837: A Futuristic Retail Playground in NYC that Redefines the Brand and Doesn’t Sell Product!
March 15, 2016
by Tammy Sachs, CEO
A team of our curious researchers ventured to the new Samsung “experience center" last week. Situated in the ultra-cool meatpacking district opposite the High Line, grown-ups line up in droves to experience some amazing innovations that fall far from the realm of say, the Galaxy, a flat screen TV or microwave.
We started our journey eight at a time, sitting down in what looked like reclining movie chairs. Helpful guides warned us to buckle up for the ride. What a ride it was – screaming at the top of our lungs while wearing VR headsets and headphones, we took a roller coaster ride on par with Six Flags(in fact, word has it Six Flags is adding it to their rides!).
Who knew VR could be that incredible? Standing up sort of dizzy and blown away, we then encountered another VR experience where viewers could select their environment.
Again with the help of a friendly guide who encouraged us to look all around for a 360 view, we experienced life in the depths of the ocean where an orca whale swam by so close you could feel it. There was even an opportunity for us to take a photo on a huge digital wall, watch millions of pixels change color and morph the image for hundreds to see. It was quite spectacular and larger than any video wall I’ve ever seen. For those of us who only read about the amazing smart refrigerator that launched at CES in Vegas this winter, we got to play with it here. Pretty cool to pull up recipes on a large digital panel, see the inside of the fridge and be able to tag items inside with their expiration date. Not only that, the fridge has the capability to order missing items using MasterPass at FreshDirect or ShopRite using Wi-Fi or a phone app.
Possibly the most interesting section of this “experience center” is the VR Tunnel. Before entering, you input your Instagram handle with a guide. As you push through the curtains, a semi-arched wall of mirrors and screens are populated with your photos, descriptions, and hashtags from your Instagram account. With mirrors on the floor and ceiling creating a truly enveloping experience, the room will definitely become one of the most Instagrammed places in New York.
What we experienced was probably the very beginning of what mature VR capabilities and connected devices will be. That said, even the biggest skeptic couldn’t leave without being dazzled by what is possible AND gain a transformed perception of Samsung at the cutting edge of applied innovation. Funnily enough, nothing there was even for sale! This futuristic playground is brilliant experiential marketing.