Sony Square NYC Offers Hands-On Look at the Future of Tech

Sony Square NYC Offers Hands-On Look at the Future of Tech

I didn’t think my day was going to end with me doing a virtual reality simulation of being inside a shark cage while a giant shark tried to attack me. But it did. And I survived.

You can be inside a shark cage too—or partake in several other virtual reality demonstrations—at the PlayStation® VR WORLDS section of Sony Square NYC. You can also do and see so much more.

Opened on August 4, this public space showcases Sony’s innovative products that give you a glimpse of what the future of electronics will do for both your home and recreation. There are fashionable, yet functional lightweight watches that can change design, as well as hands-free, voice-activated, wearable speakers ("N") that can play music, tell you the weather, find you a restaurant on Yelp and take photos.

"N" at Sony Square NYC (©Katie Labovitz)


There are also MESH (Make, Experience and SHare) tags, which when used individually or together with the MESH app, you can wirelessly connect actions—a door opening, a button being pressed, a light turning off or on—to sounds, lights, email notifications and more! Each tag has a different purpose—one detects movement, another reacts to changes in temperature/humidity, one is a button that you can use to remotely start a wireless entity, one glows different colors to signify whatever meaning you give them, and others. The app was easy to work and can be used for practical or playful purposes. All you do is connect the tag icons to each other, creating a circuit that will make something happen with the first tag is activated.

The Life Space UX area has some great gadgets to make your home more… well, you. I really liked the LED Bulb Speaker that plays music via Bluetooth and has countless light options that offers a rainbow of colors and 32 different levels of brightness. The Portable Ultra Short Throw Projector is also really cool because you can use it to project video or images on any flat surface (a wall, a tabletop and more), creating your own home theater or art gallery.

Speaking of art gallery, Sony Square NYC had a beautiful display of NYC artwork hanging up—all images and video taken using various Sony products. Some of the photographers featured in the exhibit do hands-on photo walks where participants are provided Sony cameras and lenses to take pictures around the Flatiron District. (Award-winning photographer Tony Gale will be doing a walk on August 20 from 3 pm-6 pm… click here to RSVP.) The photo exhibit in Sony Square NYC will be rotating out every few weeks, so it will be exciting to see what gets displayed next.

Musician Ben Folds took this photo—"Score in NY—with a Sony RX1 R (©Katie Labovitz)


And then there was the shark. A person who went a few turns ahead of me was shrieking from fright and I was a little worried. As I sat in the chair in the PlayStation® VR WORLDS area, I was told that I didn’t have to do the shark cage simulation—that I could pick something else. But no—I decided to face a personal fear.

The nice young man running the exhibit outfitted me with the PlayStation® Virtual Reality Headset for PS4 and I was on my way to an underwater adventure. From inside my shark cage, I had a realistic 360° view of the deep all around me. I saw a cute sea turtle, some very large manta rays and a swarm of jellyfish. But then the ocean around me got darker and I knew it was shark o’clock. I twisted and turned in my seat, trying to catch a glimpse of the shark before I was face-to-face with it.

The shark brushed the cage a few times and I found myself flinching, even though I was safely sitting in a chair in Sony Square NYC. And then the shark attacked and ripped the front of my cage off! My heart was racing and I started laughing because it was scary and silly at the same time (I laugh on roller coasters too—it’s my coping mechanism). PlayStation® VR and VR WORLDS will be released October 13 and I predict a lot of viral videos of people recording their friends getting (virtually) attacked by the shark.

A screen displays for others what you see during your VR WORLDS experience. (©Katie Labovitz)


Learning all about Sony’s products was great and I sincerely appreciated the friendly and informed staff. They are all extremely knowledgeable about the technology in this space and how easily it can be applied to everyday life. It was also really cool to experience virtual reality and have it turn something I hate (sharks) into a really fun and memorable moment. Try it all out for yourself! Sony Square NYC is located on 25th Street and Madison Avenue—right across from Madison Square Park. It is open Monday-Saturday from 10 am-7 pm, as well as on Sunday from 11 am-6 pm. (Closed on major holidays.)

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