On the first day of CES 2022, Samsung opened the virtual doors to its My House metaverse experience. The company built a customizable digital home that can be accessed through the Zepeto app – a metaverse platform. With the number of COVID-19 infections reaching new heights, many companies have discontinued or reduced their physical presence for CES this year – giving virtual options such as livestreaming a booth from a phone or, in this case, a metaverse booth, alternative ways to share products.
The problem is that nobody cares about Samsung this one metaverse experience. Certainly not for the target group for which the company was in the press release: millennials and zoomers. Just look at the press release trying to sell the idea; I imagine this pitch from an employee word for word in a Zoom call to Samsung executives:
You’ve probably heard of the metaverse before. It is no longer a fad, but an established trend of the future. With online communication constantly evolving, the metaverse has created new industrial, social and cultural values. Millennials and ‘zoomers’ (members of Gen Z) are using this digital space to project identities different from reality, and have created a new world of experiences through active interaction.
Samsung kicked off this metaverse partnership with Zepeto developer Naver Z in August of last year with the platformer-like Galaxy House experience featuring members of BTS. But the CES version opts for more of a Second Life Experience: Players can walk through a fenced yard and enter a customizable house filled with Samsung products like the Freestyle Projector, Custom Vacuum Cleaner, and The Frame TV.
You start in the front yard of the house where you can interact with other people and also visit different houses. Different walls, decors and finishes are available, but the actual layout of the house remains the same for everyone. You enter the front door into the living room, turn right into the kitchen with colorful custom appliances, then right one more time into what appears to be an open laundry room, and finally you go down the hall with the office, bedroom and bathroom. There’s also a whole front and back yard, but you can’t help but settle in a few spots and sit on top of a tree house (which annoyingly you can’t even get in).
I fully expected this experience to contain a lot of product information – like a real CES booth – but the creators of this Samsung experience apparently wanted the products to stay low-key and focus on how Instagram-ready your imaginary home could look. . You can pick up the Bespoke Jet vacuum cleaner and run around with it, stand in front of an air purifier and enjoy the breeze, and play video games on the unfamiliar model of TV in the living room or on a curved Samsung monitor in the office.
I wish Samsung had made its CES experience on Zepeto more like August’s previous Galaxy House experience. That felt more like a product showcase and more CES-esque than this My House experience. I also visited the old experience – where I am challenged to do what Mario Galaxy-style platform that jumps to the top of a space-themed world so I can take a selfie with Jin from BTS. It was much more engaging than walking into a bathroom in the My House experience – where you can brush your teeth but do nothing else.