The Media Immersion Pod: Taking The Internet Cafe To A New Level

from the customer-experience-is-everything dept

Over the weekend, the NY Times ran an article on the rise of media immersion pods in Tokyo. The concept — which has a bit of a Neal Stephenson sci-fi feel to it — is that instead of just going to the typical cyber cafe, people rent space in a closed off “pod” that has just about every kind of media they might want. There are books, magazines and newspapers that you can read. There are DVD and VHS players, gaming consoles and computers (with internet connections of course). The pods can seat one or two people, so that couples can spend time in a pod together. While there may be all sorts of discussions over whether the idea of people going to such a place to “shut themselves off” off is a good or bad thing, what seemed most interesting was how this was really taking the concept of the traditional internet cafe to a really new level. In some ways, it seems quite similar to what many have been saying the movie industry needs to do: treat their customers better, by giving them more of what they want. In this case, folks in Tokyo recognized that they weren’t in the “internet cafe business,” but in the media enjoyment business — allowing them to expand greatly beyond what most people normally think of when it comes to an internet cafe.

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Comments on “The Media Immersion Pod: Taking The Internet Cafe To A New Level”

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Exiled From the mainstream says:

Well this is something I guess...

First the pods, then the matrix for every criminal!

Sorry couldnt resist. Its interesting I’ll give it that, but whats coming after this if it takes off as the next big thing? Its a interesting step for Tokyo, this might be as big as the sony rootkit scandal but in a positive way!

Annnd before I forget *shoots “Lamer”* If you want to be an arse fine. But for the love of god stop butchering the english language with l33t speak!!!

Stanley says:

coming to a car near you soon.

This is a logical progession from the toyko coffin hotels, you have to make use of the room you have. we already see this thing happening in cars, music centres with ipod docks, in car DVDs GPS, broad band for your car can’t be that far away. al in all it sounds like a smart car fitted out with all the latest gizmos and no wheels.

Jeff (profile) says:

Ewww porn pods

Two thoughts:

There are some disadvantages to having “private” internet pods set up anywhere — namely what people might do in the privacy of their own pods.

There are some advantages to being the first one in a pod as soon as it is built — namely that is the only way to know your pod is really clean. (Assuming workers in the Pod Factory only engaged in clean quality assurance testing, of course.)

No pods for me.

don jensen says:

New? Maybe to westerners, but not in Asia.

Anyone who has lived in China-Japan-Taiwan or other Far East nations knows this nothing new. I lived in Taiwan 10 years ago and these ‘pods’ where people go into small closed off rooms, where there is a variety of media, was quite common. They have long been popular with students for studying, lovers for playing, businessmen for small meetings, etc. They often include Karaoke, computer/web access, table space for studying or eating, a couch, a big TV, catered meals, and so forth. These little sanctuaries provide welcome relief to Orientals who often live in very crowded conditions. It’s a very old cultural tradition in Oriental societies, going at least as far back as the opium dens hundreds of years ago.

wolff000 says:

Love It

Too bad those things would cost 5 times as much to rent in the states. I would love spending a nite with a huge library of movies, games and books for just 10 bucks. As far as these things being labeled evil cause some dumb ass forgot to eat and drink I doubt it. After that chinese kid dropped I didn’t see any change in the gamer dens over in china. yes these things have been around for awhile but older versions had no where near as much media to riffle through. What the hell is this whole clean factor people are screaming about? Do you all stay in hotels cause most are filthy even after they supposedly wash the sheets and stuff just turn the lights out and turn on a blacklight and you would be disgusted. then theres the subways, those are even dirtier. and for those that think sex doesn’t happen on the subway you are mistaken. i have seen it myself late nights in NY. nothing nicer than catching some crackhead with a 300 lb. street walker at 3 am after you just got off a 14 hour shift.

michael says:


Media pods is a way to be living on the outside,walking the streets of Paris or New york city, by yourself at three AM in the elements,the smells the sights the danger.In the safe enviromentally dialed in space,were the thrill of
danger and chance would permiate your experience,on the outside. On the inside,that element still needs to be better realized.

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