I’ve always been an apple fan. Since my trusty Nokia was overthrown back in the day apple have been my brand of choice. That said with all the noise and excitement around Samsung, especially of late, my curiosity was peaking. Having family living in Seoul, Korea I decided to see what all the fuss was about. Surely they’ve got nothing on apple? Or so I thought until I stepped inside their flagship environment, the Samsung D’light store.
Set within trendy Gangnam, Samsung’s head office is as one would expect from such a prestigious brand. It’s a big, modern and yet discreet looking building that’s glass reflects light almost making it invisible. With public access only to the first three floors I can’t but help wonder what goes on above…. how would working here compare to my own experience of the industry?
On arrival wife, daughter and I are greeted and asked to provide our details. From the get go it’s evident this is not a retail space for shifting product but rather, an experiential environment for building brand love. With our photos taken, details captured and RFID bands supplied the journey begins.
It starts by getting acquainted. A member of staff instructs on how to interact with the first station. Placing wrist band to sensor my face and name appear on a large display above.
Next, we head to a space titled EMOTION. On route a massive UHD 105” TV catches my eye.
But will it make you happy?….probably, yes!
Activation 2. It’s time for the wife to follow her heart.
Corny I know, but a great experience non the less.
Activation 3. Sense.
Not sure how this makes her thoughtful but again…
Activation 4. Imagination. Build Your Own Environment.
Activation 5. Summary.
Having followed my heart, played with my senses and created my own miniature world it was time to encapsulate and reflect what this represents in me. And so, on the 14th April 2017 I gained the title Imagination Sommelier!
I know, I look cool
Ground Floor Summary
We really enjoyed this experience. Sure, the output of our interaction was a little corny but, the interactions themselves were fun. Buoyed by this we took the escalator up to explore how Samsung is connecting tomorrow.
LEVEL 2 THE FUTURE
This is Samsung’s IOT space, a place to flex its muscles within real world contexts. Our journey starts with education. A large display wall of ‘things’ gives context and via short animated story we discover the role IOT plays in a day in the life of Jane.
Next, we head to a large space divided into sections representing Healthcare, Retail, Education and the Home. Each space a sterile white canvas. Using tablets and RFID sensor points they are brought to life via augmentation. Each demonstrating the value of IOT within everyday contexts.
Samsung are already a brand we accept and use within the home and this has got to be somewhat advantageous. There is however an area of grey that’s still not entirely clear. How will Samsung mobile phones, using android OS connect to Samsung IOT products? With the latter using Tizen, Samsung’s own OS will the two operating systems be able to seamlessly connect and if so, at what cost?
Perhaps this the start of Samsung looking to take back control of all that it is? Time will tell. If you’re ever in Seoul be sure to check out the Samsung d’light store. It’s well worth the visit.