Another project, dubbed “Synesthesia Suit,” was a haptic extension of the existing game Rez Infinite, which gaming magazine Polygon calls “one of the first masterpieces of VR.” The suit surrounded players with 26 actuators that vibrated along with music in the game, allowing for a more multisensory experience. The suit also included LED lights that vibrated differently along with different sounds, such as percussive beats and stringed instruments, which made it more interesting for the audience.
More than most experiential activations at SXSW, the Wow Factory positioned Sony as a brand that creative technologists might want to work with on future projects—just as their work is becoming more important to the marketing of live events in general. One panel at SXSW about immersive art at festivals noted that “the longevity of many festivals is based upon successfully converging music, visual arts, and immersive environments to sell tickets—[and] often it’s the ancillary entertainment that defines a festival to make it a destination experience.”
A successful showcase of Sony’s technical know-how, the Wow Factory also offered concrete demos of the look and feel of experiences created with its technology. The element of gaming in many of these displays helped make the Wow Factory the most engaging branded house we saw at SXSW this year.
For more highlights from SXSW, see our coverage of Bolt Threads and NeuroSpeculative AfroFeminism.