Samsung Olympic Showcase will bring IoT, VR experiences to fans and athletes

Non-athletes will be able to test winter sports like skeleton through interactive VR experiences.

VR and AR: What are they and what makes them different?
Building a slide deck, pitch, or presentation? Here are the big takeaways:
  • Samsung's Olympic Showcase will let fans and athletes experience emerging technologies like IoT and VR in Olympic-related interactive activities.
  • The Showcase exhibits ways companies can use newer technologies to entertain and market their products.

Samsung will bring emerging technologies like virtual reality (VR) to the Winter Olympics in PyeongChang through its Olympic Showcase, the company announced Tuesday.

In nine spots around the games, fans and athletes will be able to participate in Olympic-related interactive experiences, including VR-powered skeleton and cross-country skiing races. The showcases give companies one way to use emerging technologies as a means of entertainment and a way to pull people in to hear about a company's product or history.

The announcement highlights the growing use of VR in product demos and marketing.

"AR and VR will transform today's user experience into a more continuous and contextual one that significantly changes how people interact with each other and computing systems," Brian Blau, research vice president at Gartner, said in a May report.

SEE: Virtual and augmented reality policy (Tech Pro Research)

Outside of the Olympics, the showcases will have a focus on Samsung's past, present, and future. An exhibit called "Unbox Samsung" will show the company's history, and there will be demos of Internet of Things (IoT) connected devices for smart home applications.

The Galaxy Note 8 and S pen will also be available to turn selfies into works of art, the release said.

Additional parts of the showcase include a kids' zone and special events, including athlete visits, the release said. It didn't specify which athletes would appear or when.

By completing the activities, visitors can earn points that can buy them food or drinks within the showcase, the release said. Visitors will also be able to purchase mobile products and accessories at the showcase.

By using the technologies in an interactive way, Samsung could convince consumers to further use them in their lives. The international audience may provide reach into new markets as well.

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Image: Samsung