14. March 2018 / Permalink / Short URL
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Reframing Television Sets

Samsung`s new QLED televisions become nearly invisible in the standby-mode by blending with the pattern and color of the background.

In recent years, the technology of televisions and monitors developed at an astonishing speed. Television sets became increasingly sharp and thin. Display foils were developed and a TV sets could be just as thick as the wallpaper they are attached to.

South Korean tech company Samsung, which has always been a pioneer in this field, takes this blending with the wallpaper to the next level. Samsung’s QLED TV becomes invisible at the touch of a button. The new feature, which Samsung calls Ambient mode, makes it possible to make Samsung’s QLED TVs appear transparent to the environment by adapting to the background and merging like a chameleon with the color of the surrounding.
First tests show that while the TV set does not become completely invisible the new feature works impressively well.

The mode can be selected via an app. However, a smartphone is needed. With the SmartThingsApp, Samsung’s QLED TV is photographed against a background and then a still image is sent to the TV via WLAN. If you do not want to just look at your wall, you can also display information such as the weather, the time or animations like waves.

So why would we need an invisible TV set? TV sets have been status symbols – the bigger the better. We are used to television sets being the center of many living (and other) rooms. Just think of how furniture is typically arranged around TV sets with sofas and armchairs facing the screen. Despite becoming thinner, TV sets are still eye-catching – and most often not in a good way. So being able to hide them while not being used should be attractive, especially for design fans. Furthermore, the on-demand visibility fits with the present use of TV sets: on-demand services as Netflix and Youtube already started replacing traditional TV.

Julia K. de Groote
Julia K. de Groote
conducts research on thematic thinking at the University of Bern (Bern, Switzerland) and is author of "Using Thematic Thinking to Achieve Business Success, Growth, and Innovation".

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