[Interview] Exploring Unlimited Possibilities for Lifestyle TV – Samsung Newsroom Singapore

(From left) Kyuseong Lee, Kang-il Chung and Sunwoo Kim, lifestyle TV product planners at Samsung Electronics’ Visual Display Business

The characteristics of TV continue to evolve in line with the latest trends and lifestyle patterns. Against this backdrop, the role of television has grown. If previously only as a tool to provide entertainment, TV has now become a major component of the user’s interior design scheme.

To keep up with emerging trends, Samsung Electronics continues to think outside the box while exploring new possibilities for TVs. Since 2015, the company has continued to strive to develop new displays and features on its televisions, and ensure that consumers can adapt the TV to their lifestyle. So how does Samsung deliver its lifestyle TV line, and what kind of consumer experience does it want to provide? To find out, Samsung Newsroom met with the company’s lifestyle TV product planner, who has contributed to solutions from The Serif to The Terrace.

Lifestyle TV: Becoming More Than Just a Living Room Equipment

Vivid images and immersive feel are the two fundamental elements a television should provide, with a well-designed product capable of delivering both. Today, lifestyles are shifting, and watching has moved away from the living room, with people preferring to consume their content in whatever room they are in at the time.

“Our goal is to allow consumers to have a variety of different screens for different spaces in their homes,” said group leader Kang-il Chung. “This will allow them to enjoy whatever content they want, wherever they are, based on Samsung’s ‘Screen Anywhere’ philosophy.” Chung’s work involved analyzing technology trends and usage patterns, which allowed him to begin to define new features that users wanted from their televisions.

“To define product concepts and new TV functions, we looked at things like how televisions are used, interior decorating trends, and the overall cultural and lifestyle preferences of our users,” explains product planner Kyuseong Lee. During the planning stage, product planners focus on connecting the desired user experience with the essence of the product. By doing this, the team is working to make it easier for users to understand the product story and the different experiences it offers. Lee added, “Instead of just adding a bunch of different functions, we worked to clearly define the main concept of the product, then make it different. In this way, we strive to perfectly embody all aspects of the core experience.”

Serifs and Frames: Bringing Classy Decor to Your Other Rooms

Since the time of its invention, television has been considered a staple of the living room. But now, with more and more users also placing TVs in rooms such as their bedrooms and study rooms, this is changing. In line with this trend, Samsung has expanded what it considers a ‘TV room’ from the living room to various other rooms. Along with that, the company began to develop televisions that are not only in accordance with the interior aesthetics of the room, but also have features that suit the needs and lifestyle of the people who use the room.

In September 2015, Samsung introduced its first lifestyle TV, The Serif, which was designed to contribute to the user’s interior design scheme. Serif’s iconic I-shaped design was created by the internationally renowned Bouroullec Brothers, and is the ideal choice for those who want an aesthetically pleasing television that works well in any space. “We pursued a meaningful design that emphasized people and space, and tried to move away from the usual ‘TV display’,” Chung said. “Many consumers claim that The Serif looks more like a lifestyle product than a TV.”

The continuous efforts of the product planning team to develop new models that blend well with the surrounding environment also contributed to the development of The Frame. Looking like a modern picture frame, this television can be adapted to any home decor style and features an ‘Art Mode’ which allows viewers to enjoy the artwork from the comfort of their home. The TV sensor is also capable of automatically detecting the intensity and movement of the illumination. “Samsung collaborates with world-renowned curators, renowned art galleries, museums, and artists to present a vast art collection through the Art Store,” said Sunwoo Kim. “We will continue to work hard to ensure that we can display an ever-widening range of great works of art in stunning resolutions.”

Thinking Outside the Box: Fun for Millennials

And Samsung’s ‘think outside the box’ development philosophy goes beyond considerations of space and extends to form. While televisions generally have horizontal screens with an aspect ratio of 16:9, the increased use of mobile devices by modern viewers means that viewing content on vertical screens is becoming increasingly common. Millennials’ tendency to watch things on their smartphones, in particular, has contributed to the increasing prominence of vertically displayed content. Thus, The Sero was developed as an answer to the question, ‘what if we could make the TV screen swivel so that it is more suited to the lifestyle of Millennial users?’

Sero is the result of this bold idea. “Developing Sero with a rotating screen was a long and challenging journey, as we were like exploring uncharted territory,” said the product planner. The team had to consider various factors, such as whether the user would manually rotate the screen or auto-rotate. This project brought together many different teams as they set out to create an entirely new consumer experience, with their efforts eventually culminating in ‘The Sero’. “We are seeing an increase in the consumption of vertical, short-form content on social networking sites,” said Chung. “And The Sero allows viewers to use screen mirroring to watch this content in a full-screen and immersive format.”

Expanding into Other Spaces: Premiere and The Terrace

Over time, the focus of Samsung’s Lifestyle TV has shifted again. Due to the pandemic, many people prefer to watch movies at home instead of going to the cinema these days. Premiere is specially designed for those who want to create a theater-like environment in their home. This easy-to-install model offers a large theater-like screen with extremely sharp image quality. “With The Premiere, you can enjoy your favorite content on an ultra-large screen from the comfort of your home,” said Kim. “With a premium fabric finish, The Premiere also serves as the perfect complement to your interior décor.”

In today’s climate, more people are also making use of private outdoor spaces such as balconies. In line with these changing consumer lifestyles, Samsung has introduced its first outdoor TV model, The Terrace. With superior water and dust resistance, The Terrace provides a great viewing experience regardless of rain, heat or other inclement weather. Said Lee, “Going forward, the outdoor TV market is expected to grow exponentially. The Terrace provides an optimal outdoor viewing experience, delivering incredibly clear and detailed images in both sunlight and shade.”

As our TVs become an increasingly important part of our lives, some argue that product evolution is nearing its end. But Chung thinks differently, claiming that, “There are still endless possibilities for what our television might be in the future.” He hopes that he and his team can continue to introduce new and varied lifestyle TV models to continue to provide a fresh experience for consumers.

Samsung’s lifestyle TV product planners believe that TVs need to continue to evolve to keep up with changing lifestyles. “We wanted to develop a TV that people wanted to own, and one they wanted to show off,” Kim emphasized. “Our dream is to build what is called a ‘lifestyle universe’ where each space is equipped with a lifestyle TV that fits the function of the space.”

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