[Interview] Getting To Know Those Responsible for The Freestyle, a Device Captivating Younger Users Around the WorldBy STF News
▲ (From left to right) The product experts behind The Freestyle: Jenny Jung, Sooyeon Chung, Dami Baik and Seungyeon Ian Jeong of the Visual Display (VD) Business at Samsung Electronics
The Freestyle, Samsung Electronics’ all-new portable screen and entertainment device that displays crystal-clear images up to 100 inches in size, is proving a hit in markets around the world including North America, Latin America and South Korea.
The secret behind the popularity of The Freestyle, a device that is especially beloved by younger generations, is that feedback from Millennial and Zoomer-age individuals has been welcomed and incorporated right from The Freestyle’s product planning and early development stages.
In order to hear more about this process, Samsung Newsroom sat down with 4 of the product experts behind the planning and development of The Freestyle: Seungyeong Ian Jeong, who worked on product planning, Sooyeon Chung, who worked on service product management, Jenny Jung, who worked on UX design and Dami Baik, who worked on product launch marketing.
Developing an All-New Device Based on Changing Lifestyle Trends
Ever since the initial planning stages of The Freestyle, Samsung’s product experts have been researching Millennial and Zoomer lifestyle trends and have endeavored to apply them to the product. Millennials and the Zoomers pursue their own unique lifestyles, and are not afraid to speak out and express themselves. They place importance on practicality as well as the vibe and style of the products they choose. By respecting the preferences of such young users, The Freestyle took such changes in preferences into consideration.
The changes in lifestyles brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic became the background for product planning as well. People began to spend more time in their own personal spaces, and it became more important to bring entertainment into spaces previously used for relaxing, such as the bedroom. At the same time, outdoor leisure activities, such as camping, have been becoming more common. “The concept of The Freestyle is its frameless portable screen that is ‘with me anywhere,’” explained Jung.
Creating a Unique TV Experience Out of a Unique Platform and a Young Vibe
It is not easy to describe The Freestyle in one word, simply because it is a completely new product with no precedent. Some users will use it as a screen, while some will use it as an interior mood light; others might use it as a digital placard, too. As the very name of the device states, the purpose of the product changes in freestyle along with the lifestyle and the unique style of each user.
We asked the 4 product experts what they think the secret behind the popularity of The Freestyle is, and all of them highlighted the strong synergy between the product experience that can be harnessed in all kinds of ways with the unique Samsung Smart TV platform. “The Freestyle provides all kinds of major OTT apps with built-in streaming services certified by partners so that you’re never behind on the best in content and screen experiences,” elaborated Chung. “Moreover, smartphone mirroring can very easily be undertaken with both Android and iOS mobile devices.”
Actively Reflecting the Interests and Experiences of Younger Generations
Since The Freestyle is a product that is the first of its kind, naturally some hurdles arose during the development stage. “Since it is the first product of its type being developed by Samsung, there was no defined reference for us,” explained Jung. “It wasn’t easy for us to plan the product’s features and to design its experiences from zero.” Whenever doubts arose about the direction of the product, what helped the most was actually the feedback the team could get from the community board for Samsung employees in their 20s and 30s.
At the beginning of the product planning stage, the crux of The Freestyle’s offering was mainly content watching through projection. However, colleagues who are Millennials and Zoomers at Samsung provided their feedback as to how excited they would be to use The Freestyle to create their own type of mood by projecting an image of their choice when not watching content, and this is what led to The Freestyle’s ambient features.
Even the device’s high-quality audio offering came to be following the incorporation of feedback on the community board. “While we were thinking about the sound specification of the device, we paid attention to the opinions being shared about how the sound quality should not be compromised,” noted Jeong.
Going Beyond the Limitations of a Space With Convenient Portability and Usage Options
In order to use this product, small enough to fit into a purse and weighing only 830g, anywhere regardless of place, a convenient usage environment is a must. Unlike other projectors, The Freestyle quickly adjusts its screen’s focus automatically through auto keystone correction, leveling and focusing features. Through the Scale & Move feature, users can adjust the projected screen size and position it without having to physically move the projector around.
In addition, the Freestyle features a convenient functionality that allows users to directly access settings while watching content that doesn’t require them to go through any menu — this is accessed by simply pressing and holding the home button. Moreover, users can control the device through voice recognition, as the product comes with technology to minimize surrounding noise, previously a persistent issue for projectors. Through farfield voice assistant support, The Freestyle also lets users play music and engage in virtual assistant features even when the screen is off.
A Versatile Device To Be Used Anytime, Anywhere — On Your Terms
So how do the product experts themselves use The Freestyle? “I enjoy using The Freestyle to listen to music in high-quality sound while projecting my favorite album cover image in the background,” said Jung. “I also enjoy projecting a video of the stars shining brightly onto my bedroom ceiling before I go to bed. When I feel like falling asleep, I can just turn off the device using my voice.”
“My kids really like it when we install The Freestyle on the headboard shelf and watch content projected onto the ceiling while lying in bed together,” added Baik. “Since the device can be used freely in any way you want, it is receiving rave reviews just not from Millennial and Zoomer-age users, but also from users of all ages, including those who are using The Freestyle as a family.”
The most appealing thing about The Freestyle is that it can be used in all kinds of scenarios in daily life thanks to its compact design and convenient usability. “We want to present a user experience that meets users’ diverse preferences and needs anywhere, anytime, by going beyond the limitations of a space,” said Jeong. “Our goal is to establish The Freestyle as a personal, movable, smart screen that can be truly utilized to the fullest.”
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By STF News
Over the past year and a half, our lives have changed inordinately, with social distancing measures taking over and requiring us to transform every part of our routines from the way we work to the way we shop.
In light of this ‘new normal’ that we find ourselves living in, Samsung Electronics has been working non-stop to develop innovative solutions for businesses as well as users. Samsung Kiosk, a point-of-sale (POS) terminal for customers, is one such solution.
Samsung Kiosk is not only equipped with a range of functionalities and operational settings to fit different business types and sizes, but also features a dedicated User Interface that allows for the easy set-up and usage of menu, payment and saving systems. With a refined design for seamless in-store integration and antibacterial coating technology, Samsung Kiosk has been developed to provide the best possible experiences to retailers as well as customers.
Take a look at the infographic below to learn more about Samsung Kiosk.
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[Interview] How Photographer Cody Cobb Brings Users to Remote Corners of the World Through The FrameBy STF News
Samsung Electronics’ award-winning lifestyle TV The Frame continuously transforms the space it’s in by offering users access to over 1,500 pieces of virtual art from some of the world’s most renowned artists, museums and industry tastemakers.
This month, the Art Store is highlighting those masterpieces that bring the most beautiful scenery found around the planet straight to your living room with its World Environment Day spotlight, a curated set of art pieces that feature breathtaking scenes from all over the world. One artist whose work is featured in this spotlight is Cody Cobb, a photographer who travels to some of the most remote places known to man to capture nature the way he believes it should remain: untouched.
Figure 1. In my “studio” which is in the landscape itself
Bringing the Beauty of Our Planet to More People
Cobb has worked in photography for the past 20 years, first as an artistic pursuit that began as a part of his digital illustration projects and subsequently developing to be his primary medium. He travels to remote places including the vast American West in order to find unique landscapes, natural formations and stand-out moments to capture. He spends much of his time working alone in order to allow for serendipity to lead him to the discovery of the exceptional scenes captured in his work.
▲ Death Valley (2015)
“I am not sure that I can turn off the part of my brain that is engaged when I am photographing,” noted Cobb of the ways he harnesses his camera to capture his unique view of the world. “I observe the world in a specific way, obsessively finding details and patterns. Sometimes I will happen to have a camera with me, and that’s when I am able to capture those observations. Photography is a natural extension of my way of experiencing the world.”
By bringing his works to the selection available to users on The Frame, Cobb hopes that people will be able to experience the world in the way that he is able to when he is taking photographs. “I would love for those who view my work to be transported somewhere else for a moment,” he noted. “I hope that they can experience the sense of stillness that I myself enjoy while shooting.”
Cobb also hopes that when a user takes in the incredible scenes he has been lucky enough to see firsthand, they are able to stop for a moment and appreciate the beauty of what they are seeing. “I hope that my artwork offers a nuanced way of experiencing nature,” he said. “I want these places to come across as mysterious and I hope that people are able to get lost in them.”
Experiencing the World Through The Frame
On The Frame, Cobb’s photos are displayed using nano-sized Quantum Dots which offer 100% color volume and bring over a billion shades of precise colors to users so that users can enjoy the artworks with the original color, detailing and texture intended by the artist. Users are able to experience the natural beauty of our planet just as it is, for what feels like a firsthand view of these amazing scenes.
▲ Parallel World (2017)
“The Frame is such a perfect expression of the cinematic visuals running through my head when I’m creating art,” noted Cobb. “I want my photos to feel alive and the technology powering The Frame allows for that. I also love that my fine art prints can exist on the same wall alongside the work I have available on the Art Store.”
Putting Nature First Thanks to Transformative Technologies
Having collaborated with The Frame’s Art Store since its early days, Cobb understands how important it is to bring art into peoples’ homes and how technology plays a pivotal role in doing so. He is grateful for transformative experiences The Frame offers as a digital platform for displaying art; “Thanks to The Frame, I now have a new audience and a whole new way of sharing my work,” he noted. “It is incredibly motivating.”
An ardent advocate for the environment and the protection of the spaces he captures, Cobb is now selling his work via NFTs (non-fungible tokens) on platforms such as Hic et Nunc as the form of digital currency they employ consumes much less energy than other platforms. For each NFT sale he makes, he is donating a portion of the proceeds to environmental preservation organizations.
Fifteen of Cody’s pieces are available on The Frame’s Art Store now, and two of his photographs are being featured as part of this June’s Environmental Day spotlight.
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