Sony Corporation of America Unveils New Exhibits At the Sony Wonder Technology Lab
Sony Corporation of America today unveiled an entire floor of new interactive exhibits in the Sony Wonder Technology Lab, the free public museum located at 550 Madison Avenue in the Sony building. These new exhibits represent the first phase of an upgrade at the Lab. They have been designed as interactive tools to help young visitors better understand the importance of communications technology in an entertaining, creative environment, and explore the worlds of computers, television, games, music, film and digital technology.
New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Mr. Nobuyuki Idei, Chairman and Group Chief Executive Officer, Sony Corporation, and Sir Howard Stringer, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Sony Corporation of America were present at the opening and ribbon-cutting event.
"The Sony Wonder Technology Lab reflects Sony's ongoing commitment to technological evolution, and to community service in the cities in which we work," said Howard Stringer, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Sony Corporation of America. "We are delighted to be able to utilize our wide range of entertainment properties in music, movies, and games, combined with the latest technology, to provide an engaging, educational experience for visitors of all ages."
"The Sony Wonder Technology Lab is designed to open the door to creativity and technological literacy, and to enable visitors to realize their digital dreams," said Sony Corporation Chairman and Group Chief Executive Officer Nobuyuki Idei. "The language of entertainment transcends all global barriers. Together with advances in technology, it can excite young people about the many opportunities that are open to them in the 21st century."
"New York City is a great city due in large part to the richness of its museums and cultural institutions, and these new exhibits at the Sony Wonder Technology Lab will make the museum an even bigger attraction for New Yorkers and visitors from around the world," said Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg. "This is a wonderful example of how businesses in New York can contribute to the culture and educational experience for all who live and visit here, and I thank Sony for their ongoing support of New York City."
The Sony Wonder Technology Lab occupies four floors and 14,000 square feet in the atrium of 550 Madison Avenue. The museum exhibits are primarily geared for visitors from the ages of 8 to 14. The renovated lobby, second floor exhibits, and log out space were developed and designed over the past year by Lee H. Skolnick Architecture + Design Partnership/Big Show Construction Management Joint Venture, at a cost of over $4 million. In one of the new exhibits, called the Wonder of Music, visitors perform in front of a simulated audience after making music guided by the 'virtual' presence of Sony recording artists Bow Wow and Mark O'Connor. (See appendage for complete list of new exhibits.)
Almost 250,000 people visit the Sony Wonder Technology Lab annually, and 2,038,524 have visited the space since it opened in May 1994. Additionally, the Sony Wonder Technology Lab offers various free and low-cost educational programs and community events for diverse audiences, and works with a broad range of community-based organizations and initiatives such as the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council; Girl Scout Council of Greater New York; Agency for Children's Services & Agency for Child Development; Parents League and the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
All exhibits at the Lab are wheelchair accessible. The Lab also offers American Sign Language (ASL) tours led by a deaf tour guide. Reservations for ASL tours are available for individual families and groups.
The Sony Wonder Technology Lab is open to the public free of charge Tuesday through Sunday. The Lab is closed on Mondays and major holidays. Inquiries should be directed to (212) 833-8100.
Information on the Sony Wonder Technology Lab can also be found at www.sonywondertechlab.com.
The Sony Wonder Technology Lab is operated and funded by Sony Corporation of America, the U.S. subsidiary of Sony Corporation, headquartered in Tokyo. Sony is a leading manufacturer of audio, video, communications, and information technology products for the consumer and professional markets. Its music, motion picture, television, computer entertainment, and online businesses make Sony one of the most comprehensive entertainment companies in the world. Sony's principal U.S. businesses include Sony Electronics Inc., Sony Pictures Entertainment, Sony Music Entertainment Inc., and Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc. Sony recorded consolidated annual sales of over $62.3 billion for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2003, and it employs 161,100 people worldwide. Sony's consolidated sales in the U.S. for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2003, was $20 billion. Sony Corporation of America's homepage is: http://www.sony.com/SCA/index.html
New Second Floor Exhibits:
Wonder of Games, Music and Digital Entertainment: This new second floor of the Sony Wonder Technology Lab houses a variety of activities that explore the world of games, music and digital entertainment, and illustrate the transition from an analog to a digital environment. Here, visitors will find numerous opportunities to express their creativity, to personalize their adventure, and to engage and connect with other visitors to the Lab. Exhibits in this new dynamic space include:
* History Of Interactive Games This exhibit consists of four ceiling monitors, which provide an overview of the history of interactive computer and video games from the 1960's to the present. To illustrate the evolution of these games, the graphics and performance change dramatically as 16-bit systems are superseded by 64-bit and 128-bit systems. * Atrium Window Projection This large-scale dynamic projection, located in the Atrium window behind the History of Interactive Games monitors, opens the interior museum space to the atrium below. It features video from the Wonder of Imagination, together with shots of visitors interacting in various areas of the Lab, and video elements from the Shadow Garden and Sand Interactive. * In The Game In the Game enables visitors to test certain PlayStation2 games in one of three immersive alcoves equipped with large-screen projectors, floors that vibrate and audio that envelops the visitors so that they feel as though they are literally "In the Game." * GameBuilder GameBuilder allows visitors to create their own computer racing game by selecting and altering different components, thus learning not only about the effects necessary to build a game, but also about design, spatial relations, audio and video. Visitors can select a track shape and manipulate the terrain to create mountains and valleys for their course. After making these selections, visitors choose the style and color of their vehicle and are able to test out the game they have just created. * Wonder Of Music Visitors can explore the process of making music by choosing from among four different musical instruments representing keyboard, string, woodwind/brass and percussion. After choosing their instrument, visitors are welcomed by a Sony Music artist on video. The artist explains the different instruments and their function in creating music. He then invites the visitors to join his band and perform with him in front of a 'virtual' audience. This experience exposes visitors to a variety of musical styles and enables them to discover how many instruments playing in unison can create a musical composition. * Moviemaker Moviemaker teaches visitors about some of the key concepts of motion picture production and digital editing. Through experimenting with sounds and images to create a movie trailer, visitors come to understand the interpretive and emotional impact of sound and music in a movie. They are challenged to create their own movie trailer by choosing from a series of short video clips from a selection of popular Sony Pictures films, and putting them into a sequence. They can then add background sounds and sound effects to hear how each selection changes the tone and feeling of the scene. Finally, the visitors score and title their piece, and then watch their completed trailer "premiere" on screen. * Wonder Of Imagination This multi-sensory space provides a continuously changing environment of colored lights, sound and multimedia imagery on a variety of plasma screens. Once visitors swipe their cards here, their faces and names appear floating in the plasma screens alongside still shots and video clips of the various entertainment exhibits they have experienced in their Lab visit, enabling them to connect to the entire experience. * Shadow Garden and Sand Interactive This multi-sensory interactive experience, created by artists Zachary Booth Simpson and Ken Demarest, showcases how art and technology come together in a digital world. Projected onto the translucent wall opposite the Wonder of Imagination plasmas, this interactive video installation features cascading colored "sand." This interactive wall reacts to shadows cast by visitors as they move in front of the projection. As visitors begin to move, the sand accumulates on their shadows, and as they move away, the sand falls in different patterns. * Log Out As visitors emerge from the Wonder of Imagination they have completed their journey through the Lab. A series of six interactive, electronic log out stations allow the visitors to swipe their cards one last time and receive a printed color certificate listing all of the activities they participated in during their visit. The exit space is designed to be suggestive of the broader global community, of which the visitors are a part.
For photos of the new exhibits, please go to: http://www.sonywondertechlab.com/sony/press.shtml
SOURCE: Sony Corporation of America
CONTACT: Lisa Gephardt for Sony Corporation of America, +1-212-833-6826