Skip to main content

Sony Square NYC is a gadget playpen, and a peek into the future

Usually a peek into the future involves a trip to Cape Canaveral, conversations in an MIT classroom, or a TED Talk. Yesterday I got a glimpse of the future just by walking down the street. And you can, too.

Sony relocated its New York City headquarters in February to a new location opposite Madison Square Park in the 20s (where the burger barons first opened up the Shake Shack – drool). On Thursday, the consumer electronics powerhouse will open the doors on a new feature of the building called Sony Square NYC: It’s a ground-level look at Sony’s latest arsenal of gadgets, and a window into some things the company is planning for the future.

Sony calls it a “brand experience showroom,” but it’s really more than that, explains Steven Fuld, senior VP of marketing for Sony.

We’re frankly looking for a lot of consumer feedback on what we’re doing, what they think, and how we can improve things

“There are definitely products that are on the market today, and there are plenty of products that are in innovation mode that are not quite ready to release,” he told me. “And we’re frankly looking for a lot of consumer feedback on what we’re doing, what they think, and how we can improve things.”

The facility is designed to be easily transformable, Fuld says. Movable panels at the back are currently holding an exhibit of artwork shot on Sony cameras, meant to inspire consumers with what they might do. Hidden beneath the panels, an array of flat screen monitors display upcoming Sony movies, video games, music videos, or other media.

At present, the front of the space holds a neat exhibit bridging concept gear, learning, and innovation. For example, a voice-activated, neck-wearable music player from Sony’s Future Lab Program dubbed Concept N projects a cone of audio around the head when worn and includes a voice-activated camera. Sony introduced it at Wearable World Congress in May. You can’t buy it yet, but you can walk into the store and try it for yourself.

A second installation is meant to showcase the potential of the Internet of Things. A series of tags can be connected via a simple drag-and-drop interface on a tablet to do stuff. Simple stuff: Take a picture, control a light, play a sound, connect a device, and so on. But the ease with which it can be reassembled and reprogrammed is quite impressive. Sony calls the project Mesh.

Image used with permission by copyright holder

The Square is meant to showcase current stuff too, of course. The art is meant as a reminder that it’s what you can do with any gadget that really counts. Photographers can even rent a drool-worthy collection of cameras and lenses for day use. Given what the artists are capable of, and given the best lenses Sony has to offer, what can you do?

“We wanted to give customers a chance to … play with products, to sometimes take products out into beautiful Madison Square Park across the street and try them out,” Fuld told us.

Gamers can test out the forthcoming PlayStation VR as well; I played The London Heist for a few minutes and was blown away by the immersive experience (and so were the evil doers I took out).

With gadgets for dads, grads, and everyone in between, the Sony Square is sure to impress. Check it out at 25 Madison Avenue in New York City.

Editors' Recommendations

Jeremy Kaplan
As Editor in Chief, Jeremy Kaplan transformed Digital Trends from a niche publisher into one of the fastest growing…
The best photo printers you can buy in 2024
Alan compares draft, standard, and high-quality photos from Epson's EcoTank ET-8500.

A comparison of draft, standard, and high-quality photos from Epson's EcoTank ET-8500. Tracey Truly / Digital Trends

If you love sharing photo prints or building physical photo albums, you might want to upgrade to a photo printer. When manufacturers optimize printers for pictures, the results can match or exceed that of the best printers available.

Read more
Crutchfield sale: Save on Canon, Sony and Nikon mirrorless cameras
Canon EOS R5

Photography can be a fun and even lucrative endeavor, although it also can be exceedingly expensive, with some of the best full-frame cameras on the market easily reaching and even exceeding one or two thousand dollars, and that's without taking into account the cost of the lenses. Luckily, there is a great sale at Crutchfield right now on various cameras and camera kits, and you can actually grab yourself some excellent cameras, whether you're just starting out or want to upgrade to the next level. To that end, we've picked some of our favorite deals below, although it's well worth checking out the full Crutchfield sale that's happenning now.

What you should buy in Crutchfield's camera sale
If you're just starting out with photography and don't want to spend the thousands of dollars you do for the slightly better cameras that you'll find in the mid-range, the Canon EOS R100 is an excellent option, and this kit includes a lens as well. It has a 24.1-megapixel sensor for high-quality photography, a 3-inch screen so you can get a better sense of what you're filming, and, of course, the RF-S 18-45mm f/4.5-6.3 lens that the kit comes with. It can also connect with both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, and all of that comes packaged at , which is $100 off the usual $599 price tag.

Read more
Save 35% on this SanDisk 128GB SD card for a limited time
The 128GB version of the SanDisk Extreme Pro SD card, on a white background.

When you buy from camera deals, you should also purchase an SD card or two to make sure that you have ample storage for your photos and videos. Unfortunately, the costs will start racking up if you're also going to buy accessories, so you should be on the lookout for offers like this one from StackSocial -- the SanDisk Extreme Pro 128GB for only $20, following a 35% discount on its original price of $31. That's $11 in savings on a dependable SD card, but you'll need to be quick in completing the transaction because there's no telling when the bargain ends.

Why you should buy the SanDisk Extreme Pro 128GB SD card
DSLR cameras and mirrorless cameras usually use SD cards as their storage devices, according to our guide on how to pick the right memory card for your digital camera. If you need one, the SanDisk Extreme Pro is an excellent choice because it offers shot speeds of up to 90 MB/s, which is perfect for recording 4K Ultra HD videos, photos in burst mode, and other types of content that will require a high-performance SD card to keep up with them.

Read more