We reported at the end of October that Sony were set to launch an underwater store in Dubai, just off of the coast and today I bring you news that this has happened. Sony have built a shop four meters under the ocean! Unfortunately, the site isn't open for general browsing, but instead for only a select few competition winners, some of the media and special Sony VIPs. Also, don't be holding out that the store will be open later in the year for ordinary folks, as it'll only be open for three days. Perhaps Sony are using this as a demonstrator store and we'll see additional underwater shops popping up in the coming months, but I suspect these will be free and far between as the cost must be enormous.
Those would-be aqua shoppers need to take a lesson in using Scuba equipment in a swimming pool before being allowed to the site, where during the shop visit, they'll be accompanied by a qualified diver. Sony has set up a number of Xperia devices on show together with a friendly company representative to demonstrate the products. The store is designed to highlight and showcase Sony's waterproofing technologies. If visitors want to bring their own Xperia Z3 or Z3 Compact smartphones or tablets, they must be placed into a special case as these devices are not designed for depths beyond 1.5 metres.
Sony have designed and sold waterproof electronic products for some years now. My first experience of the water resistant Xperia device is the early 2013 Xperia Z, which combined a 1.5 GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro with 2 GB of RAM, 16 GB of internal storage and a 5.0-inch, 1080p display. Subsequent Xperia flagship models have included improvements to the hardware in terms of processor and screen technology, plus enhanced water (and dust) proofing. The current flagship model, the Sony Xperia Z3 is powered by a 2.5 GHz, quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor with 3 GB of memory, 16 (or 32) GB of storage and a 5.2-inch 1080p display. It is also rated IP68 for water and dust protection. We don't expect Sony to stop integrating water resistance into their smartphones and tablets anytime soon and whilst it's a marketing gimmick to have an underwater store… it is cool. What do our readers think? Would you have liked the opportunity to visit the Aquazone? Let us know in the comments below.