On January 6, 2022, Samsung Electronics America revealed Samsung 837X on Decentraland. The name 837X comes from their physical store located at 837 Washington St, New York, NY 10014. The X in 837X denotes the “virtual eXperience”.
The 837X announcement came during CES 2022. The announcement was most likely tied with CES to magnify their reach beyond the physical event space in Las Vegas. Many vendors pulled away from the CES this year due to health concerns of their staff, and it was smart of Samsung to have their virtual presence ready to go.
After we saw an announcement, my colleague Johnny Rodriguez and I decided to check the event to experience and share what we find. As soon as we entered the event space, we were greeted by the 3D replica of their aforementioned physical store. Once inside, however, it is not what you’d expect to see.
Want to see it visually? Check out our first impressions:
Inside the event space, we quickly found that the store was not about showcasing their existing or newly announced products. It is a creative virtual space filled with theatre, a dance stage, and even a forest for you to scavenge around for the badges. They even had a live DJ performance by DJ Gamma Vibes.
Given that the Samsung 837X is only open for a limited time, we believe the land they are on is a rental space. Because of the surge of the price of virtual real estate in the Decentraland, it makes sense to rent the space temporarily rather than owning one. From the traditional business expense perspective, it also makes to payout one-time expense over owning a virtual land for limited use-cases.
We also discovered that the store was built by Last Slice Collective, a group of metaverse asset creators. Rather than hiring internal designers and programmers, it makes sense for Samsung to work with a team that gets it. We expect to see other brands entering the metaverse to utilize the domain experts to build an event space and deploy them to the metaverse.
What do we take away from this? Just as we learned not to push our products directly in the Web 2.0 / social media era, web3 also calls for building engaging content that suits what audiences seek. To simply put, It is not engaging to showcase 3D replicas of their physical consumer products. Rather, Samsung produced a space that people come to experience fun and excitement through live music, scavenger hunting, and dancing with friends.