With the official launch of Samsung’s highly-anticipated Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge less than a day away, T-Mobile is helping build hype by plastering its bright magenta billboards all over Times Square in New York City.
T-Mobile’s Times Square store is relatively new, and this Samsung promotion is its first major event at the space — which was packed full of New Yorkers and tourists intrigued at all the strange gadgetry wrapped around people’s heads.
That’s right, to show off the Galaxy S7 and the S7 Edge, T-Mobile had virtual reality booths that used the Gear VR to take people away from the bustling reality that is Times Square. There were long lines and the store was packed, brimming with people hoping to try Samsung’s VR headset.
Getting past the line landed people in the booth, where they received a little token with T-Mobile’s logo. A guide walked people through the process of placing the headset and headphones on their head, and then people were immediately transported to one of six demos, such as Lillehammer 360, where you follow a skier in first-person down the slopes in a gorgeous mountain range.
I demoed Lillehammer 360, and my guide told me I was wading left and right, as though I was actually skiing — even though I didn’t notice it in the moment. I had to catch my breath every time the skier took a leap and went full burst down a steep, snow-laden slope.
Stepping back into reality, people were pointed to a cube made up of Samsung Galaxy S7 boxes, where they presented their token and were allowed to put their hand into the stacked cubes to pull out a prize. Some people won a trip to Las Vegas, whereas others won $10 gift cards to T-Mobile — but there were plenty of other prizes as well.
There was certainly a lot of interest to try on a pair of Samsung’s VR headset — and that hype for virtual reality is only going to get bigger this year with the launch of HTC’s Vive and Facebook’s Oculus Rift.
One thing’s for sure — I’ve never seen as much magenta in Times Square as there was today.