September 22, 2004 in Social Responsibility News

SAMSUNG Experience Opens Doors: New York's Latest Must-See Landmark

NEW YORK, September 22, 2004 - Prepare to Experience Samsung. The Samsung Experience, a remarkable 10,000-square-foot interactive emporium of virtual reality experiences and technology, opens to the public tomorrow, following media and VIP previews today. The permanent venue is located on the third floor of The Shops at Columbus Circle in the Time Warner Center.
Samsung has created a range of experiences, each of which ties the Samsung brand and technology to the experiences of everyday life. The site features hundreds of Samsung products in unique technology demonstrations such as a virtual world in a 360 degree interactive simulation, a map of the city that can be manipulated with hand gestures, and a digital fashion collection created by one of New York's hottest designers.

The Samsung Experience is not a store and is always free of charge - visitors are invited to relax and learn how the latest devices can enrich their lives. Content from Samsung's many partners, including MIT Media Lab, Parsons School of Design, Napster, Microsoft, Time Warner, Lincoln Center, and Sprint PCS, helps add to the experience.

""Samsung Experience is digital convergence in its purest form - where you can see, hear, touch and create the art of the possible,"" said Dong Jin Oh, CEO of Samsung Electronics North America. ""Our hope is that the venue will become a great educational resource, communicating the life-enhancing benefits of digital technology without the pressures of a sales environment.""

Samsung will also pioneer an innovative loaner program. Visitors to the Samsung Experience will be able to take a hard-disk based camcorder with them to shoot video around New York City. Once they return, they can edit the footage at kiosks inside the Experience, burn their movies onto DVDs, and return home with a digital souvenir.

Visitors will also be able to use Samsung Napster MP3 players to download songs off Napster to CDs, and also download ring tones to their cell phones. Images embedded in the venue's giant interactive map of the city can be transferred to customize postcards and create personalized artwork.

Additionally, Samsung will host technology seminars and tutorials at the Samsung Experience, as well as product launches and special events.

The Samsung Experience adds a unique ""virtual realm"" to the space through the Cyber Brand Showcase. This virtual experience, a collaboration with Dr. John Maeda and MIT Media Lab graduates, blurs the boundary between the physical space and the online space. The Cyber Brand Showcase is a participatory website that allows real time visitor information to be exchanged between the physical space and on-line space via cyber conduits. This first-of-a-kind integrated experience can be found at www.samsung.com/nyc.

""Digital technology doesn't need to be confusing and overwhelming. The Samsung Experience will help people learn how to take control of digital devices and use them to improve the quality of their lives,"" said Peter Weedfald, Samsung Electronics North America senior vice president-marketing. ""As a digital convergence leader, Samsung is the perfect company to meet this need.""

Launching the Experience
The Samsung Experience will formally launch September 22 with two gala events at the Time Warner Center - a VIP luncheon hosted by Jong Yong Yun, CEO of Samsung Electronics, and following that, an evening reception hosted by Dong Jin Oh, CEO of Samsung Electronics North America, and Peter Weedfald, senior vice president-marketing. At the luncheon, and again in the evening, Samsung will ceremonially open the doors of Samsung Experience, inviting guests to explore a seamless world of digital sights, sounds and sensations. Key elements of Samsung Experience include:


Orientation Table: A massive, horizontal map of Manhattan installed in the public space outside of the Samsung Experience. The map is an interactive experience that focuses on showcasing digital convergence lifestyle in New York and products that facilitate this. Visitors are able browse New York venues and interface with hand gestures (ࠬa ""Minority Report"") to summon information and lifestyle film vignettes.
The Welcome Experience: Upon entering the Samsung Experience, visitors encounter islands of giant rotating LCD screens, each holding visual segments of an interconnected virtual world. The premier installation depicts characters in a modern-day ""speakeasy"" and features fashions created expressly for Samsung by Ashleigh Verrier, the breakout designer featured in New York Magazine as one of fashion's rising stars.
Access Bar: A companion to the Orientation Table allows visitors to record their memories of the New York ""digital living"" experience, creating personalized postcards and artwork. Interactive Stations: Utilizing a hand-gesture user interface, visitors can manually command this interactive exhibit, creating digital collages in real time, based on Treehouse technology developed by MIT Media Lab.
Product Interaction: The main stage of Samsung Experience places products in various inter-connective, real life scenarios. Visitors can engage in hands-on product encounters, experiencing digital living as a seamless immersion encompassing work, home and play.
Other features of the massive venue include an HD Video Wall, motion-graphic ""barn doors,"" and motion-graphic ""column media."" Furthermore, the fruits of Samsung's R&D and design revolution will be on display, with emphasis on personal mobile electronics (cell phones, camcorders, and MP3 players), including advanced cell phones with video recording, high-resolution photography and gaming features never before seen in the U.S. Content and product displays will be continually updated to ensure freshness and the on-going relevancy. Samsung, the world's fastest-growing brand for the past three years, according to Interbrand, the leading brand consultancy, expects the Samsung Experience to not only continue building brand awareness, but also to equate Samsung with popularizing the emerging global digital lifestyle. The venue itself will be promoted by major online, print, radio and outdoor advertising campaigns.

""This is a major strategic play for Samsung,"" said Stephen Baker, NPD Techworld's Director of Industry Analysis. ""By creating a direct consumer presence without relying on resellers, Samsung builds not only brand awareness, but also greater appreciation for digital technology overall. Everyone wins - especially consumers and retailers, who benefit from better understanding of what digital living is all about.""

Premium Partners Join the Experience
Early in the design and planning process, Samsung recognized that its ultimate brand expression required many pioneers of the digital convergence revolution to achieve a total immersion experience. Samsung enlisted a number of its long-time partners and recruited new converts as well to collaborate in achieving the ""art of the possible.""

""Our products, great as they may be, are just the enabler - ultimately, this is not about products, but about the experience,"" said CEO Oh. ""Working closely with content providers and other leading digital brands is the most gratifying part of what we've accomplished, and enables us to create the deepest, most satisfying expression of the new digital lifestyle.""

Contributors to the Samsung Experience include HDNet and INHD, which created customized HD programming; Microsoft, responsible for Xbox gaming content; Napster, Samsung's partner in co-branded Napster MP3s players and Napster music service; Dr. John Maeda of MIT Media Lab, who served as executive advisor and co-designed the exhibit's interactive stations and cyber brand showcase; Jazz at Lincoln Center, responsible for joint promotion, capital contribution and performance content; Sprint PCS, a key driver of consumer events, tutorials and seminars anticipated at Samsung Experience; and Parsons School of Design, whose Designer of the Year, Ashleigh Verrier, created the Welcome Experience fashion portfolio.

In an unusual example of brand synergy, The Samsung Experience actually extends throughout the Time Warner Center. For example, The Mandarin Oriental Hotel features Samsung televisions in every room, the CNN Studios uses Samsung LCD display screens, and Jazz at Lincoln Center uses Samsung display monitors.


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