A big piece of the magic in raising a kid in NYC is exploring all the things you wouldnt be able to find outside the city. A big piece of the misery in raising a kid in New York is the cost of many of these activities. So being introduced to the Sony Wonder Technology Lab is a double good treat. This interactive techno lab has four levels, including a High Definition Theater where they screen short films as well as feature films. The beautiful part? Everything is completely free.
Upon entering the Sony building, a gigantic 3-story high inflatable Spider-man catches your eye, and your breath. But thats just the beginning. After exciting the ride up in a glass elevator, each visitor is issued an I.D. Badge. The first station helps you activate the ID Badge by logging in your first name, digital picture, and some other basic information. This information is transmitted through the lab, and you can even choose to display your picture (after some effects are offered) on a Jumbo Screen that hovers over the second floor.
Every area of the Wonder Lab is designed to get the user involved. The Interactive Floor has circles of color that follow each visitor on an illuminated floor. The colors of the circles can merge and change depending on the people around you. This floor always gets the majority of our time followed by the Dance Motion Capture. After choosing a character, this space-age pod uses marker-less motion capture technology to mimic the users dancing.
The High Definition Theater housed in the Wonder Lab provides a nice break from all the noise and lights. Screenings are shown regularly, usually every ½ hour. Its a nice place to recharge before tackling the bottom level. (go here for a calendar of events and shows).
A video of Bow Wow hosts The Wonder of Music show. Four visitors at a time take part in making music, using instruments representing keyboard, string, woodwind/brass and percussion. After a brief instructional by Bow Wow, the participants get to see how their instrument sounds, combined with that of the other players.
A log out station is offered after youve had your fill of technology. Using their ID Badge one last time, visitors can get a printed color certificate documenting all the activities theyve participated in. Then its down the glass elevator, and a wave goodbye to giant Spider-man.
Sony Wonder Technology Lab
So Plaza at 56th Street and Madison Avenue
Tuesday Saturday from 10 am 5 pm, and Sunday from 12 pm 5 pm
Admission is free, but reservations are recommended
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