By Ariana Hwang
If you’re in the Meatpacking District without anything to do, or happen to forget that the Whitney Museum was closed on Tuesdays, don’t worry about having to walk further in the teeth-chattering cold.
Just walk into Samsung 837, Samsung’s NYC flagship store and event space. Admission is completely free! Upon entering, you’ll find an immersive playground full of VR headsets along with Samsung’s latest and hottest technological gear. There’s a giant digital screen in front of a stadium-like theater and a DJ booth enclosed in a glass cube. Employees won’t push you to buy anything either, because none of the products are for sale, but rather they are out for marketing purposes and people’s curiosity. As the seasons change, the installations are swapped for newer ones. So, here’s what I explored and all of the unique installations I tested out:
- Inside the “VR Tunnel”, with a Samsung Gear VR headset and control, I took my turn shooting zombies’ heads off in a virtual graveyard.
- I slowly spun a mechanism covered with Samsung Galaxies which made up a 360 degree view of a ski resort.
- I stood inside a giant snowglobe with white rose petals spinning like snow as I filmed myself awkwardly dancing to Bruno Mars’ “Uptown Funk”.
- Similar to a rollercoaster ride, I buckled my seatbelt along with other participants to demo a VR 4D spacecraft game. The seat aggressively rocked back and forth as my ship glided and dodged crashing buildings.
On the second level, more phones, watches, laptops, and other devices are arranged in a sleek manner. There’s even a proper café with delicious looking pastries and sandwiches. It could double as an office space, but interestingly, Samsung uses both floors for a myriad of events such as fitness classes, concerts, and panels.
The last thing I tested out before leaving, rested inside a small circular room surrounded by mirrors. It reminded me of Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Mirrors exhibit. Assisted by an employee, he set up a camera in the middle, while a friend and I were getting ready to pose. The result was a Black Mirror-esque 360 degree photo sent to my email.
When most of everything was explored, I finally set off to grab a bite to eat. May I suggest ordering Black Tap’s Oreo Cookies and Cream milkshake afterwards? Don’t forget to check what else is happening at Samsung 837. I hear they’re serving some guac and refreshing margaritas for next week’s event. Where else would we be without good comfort food and tech anyway?