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Samsung pops up down under, outback (with sharks)

 

Why open a scuba dive shop in the desert… 1200kms from the nearest ocean  ?

A couple of months ago Samsung featured their latest “wearable” technology… a virtual reality headset… within a pop up shop at Alice Springs, out in the Central Australian desert. Working with ad agency Leo Burnett (Sydney) they came up with a clever way to immerse customers in their new product – almost literally.

Underwater dive footage had been captured in the sea near Port Lincoln SA, loaded into a Samsung Note then plugged into the new Samsung Gear VR…. and offered to un-suspecting Alice Springs shoppers (some 1500kms away…). Well, they must’ve had an inkling of what was about to happen – the pop up certainly looked like a scuba dive shop… featuring wetsuits, masks, fins and underwater themes. Once inside “Big Sam’s Dive Centre”, bemused visitors were offered the Samsung headset experience.

The demonstration immersed users in un-familiar surroundings – 360degree views of an open-water scuba dive, seeing the underbelly of a diveboat above and the seabed below, huge schools of fish swimming past… and Great White sharks approaching. The sharks circled closer and one actually takes a bite – footage includes the inside of the shark’s mouth (it had tried to eat the camera !)

Watch the Samsung Gear VR pop-up dive shop clip here on YouTube – the reactions of Alice Springs locals “swimming with sharks” is classic ! “…oh yeah …oh wow …that is amazing !”

Coincidentally, early this morning I attended another of Porter Novelli’s Digital Distillation breakfasts (thanks guys !) – one of the speakers was PN’s own Phoebe Saunders, just back from the annual SXSW (music, film and interactive conference and festival) in Texas USA. Amongst the “2015 trends” she shared from the interactive festival was Virtual Reality… “brands are embracing immersive experiences… VR can create an experience that people would not otherwise get close to… (it represents) a new and novel way to engage an audience…”

And so… keen to know more about the technology (and try a virtual scuba dive), I went across to the Melbourne Central Samsung Experience shop straight after the PN breakfast (but… the store was still closed !). Peeking through the window there’s a couple of comfy chairs with the Samsung Gear VR kit nearby – it looks like the product is available now, although I’m not sure if the scuba dive experience is still provided in-store.

This VR technology has great potential for pop up branding events – I’m sure we’ll be seeing a lot more of it before too long, used in other creative and challenging applications. In the meantime, I’d encourage you to be adventurous… “get wet” with some Samsung sharks !

 

Samsung Alice Springs pop up 1            Samsung Alice Springs shark

Samsung Alice Springs pop up            Samsung Gear VR

images : Samsung Gear VR Alice Springs – Google Images

 

 

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