A new real-world location in London is giving consumers their first taste of VR. Sandbox has opened its doors to the public at The Old Truman Breweryin Shoreditch, London, giving members of the public the chance to experience room-scale VR.
It’s an oft-repeated refrain in the VR industry that in order for the medium to breakthrough into the mainstream, consumers need to experience VR in order to understand its potential. Sandbox aims to showcase emerging technology and put those people into VR worlds.
Alexander Cohen, Founder and CEO at Sandbox said, "Our mission is to humanise technology.” Virtually Reality’s next-gen retailing concept doesn’t sell direct to consumers, but refers them to online partners. Cohen added that, "Because we don't benefit from sales, our team are in a fantastic position to be honest and open about products."
The Sandbox business model is based around the concept that consumers have changed the way they buy technology and electronics. As Cohen says, “The days of people walking into a shop and being told what to buy are long gone; we’ve adapted to the way people shop in the 21st century.”
Showcase And Exhibition
The 1,100 square foot premises offers space to host 13 brands divided across two areas. The showcase area is a modular space with flatscreens and information pods, while a mezzanine level offers 600 square feet of exhibition space devoted to a premium partner.
Right now, that premium partner is HTC Vive, with two VR stations that can host workshops or events. Peter Frølund, VP of Sales & Marketing (Europe) at HTC Vive said, “Sandbox offers our customers an all-new way to experience VR and provides an interactive space for people to get closer to Vive and do more than just product demo.”