Providing Content How You Want It, When You Want It, Where You Want It: The Design Story Behind The FreestyleBy STF News
People today are expressing themselves more freely, showcasing their own individuality through their own unique identities. The Freestyle, Samsung Electronics’ all-new portable screen and entertainment device, has been designed to match the versatility embodied by today’s users by allowing them to express their diverse tastes and interests with flexibility.
From Every Angle
These days, nomadic working is a lifestyle that is being embraced by people all over the world who are taking advantage of the ability to work more freely, anytime and anywhere they want. Even if our working habits err on the side of ‘flexible’ instead of ‘nomadic’, we all share that desire to have ownership over our lifestyles and lean towards products that help us overcome physical constraints and traditional methods of living, working or doing.
The Freestyle, which is highly portable, does not require any type of fastening and can be adjusted to be used at any angle, is one such product, as users can enjoy the best screen quality anywhere and in any way they desire. “We worked on creating a form that can accommodate all kinds of usage and placement styles,” explained Chulyong Cho, one of The Freestyle’s designers.
Unlike conventional, boxy projectors, The Freestyle’s versatile cradle allows rotation of up to 180 degrees, enabling users to show high-quality video anywhere – tables, floors, walls or even ceilings – no separate screen required.
The Freestyle also features an auto keystone function that displays a 16:9-ratio screen anywhere without distortion. The projector automatically focuses to ensure a clear screen, and retains its level to prevent any inconveniences in viewing. This function helps users display the screen from all kinds of different positions from floors to walls to ceilings.
Me, Myself, and I
In an era where the diversity of our personalities reflects who we truly are, people are rejecting the idea of being limited to one identity. The Freestyle similarly contains such multitudes, exceeding the identity of being a simple device as it can be transformed into a subtle mood lamp.
As was noted by designer Jaeneung Lee, “Users can also enjoy a wider spectrum of experiences through accessories.” For instance, The Freestyle can be directly connected to light stands that use E26 sockets1, allowing users to hang their Freestyle from the ceiling so that it can project downwards and deliver a truly unique experience.
Furthermore, with the ambient mode, users can express themselves through unique styles of light and sound. This feature projects a variety of visual concepts into a user’s interior to create a new atmosphere, and users can also harness The Freestyle’s translucent lens cap to project images as a form of mood lighting.
Built for Diverse Tastes and Diverse Uses
The Freestyle has been designed to take into account all kinds of personal tastes and preferences, and is available in a range of color options for users to pick and choose from. “We aspired to create a device capable of matching the lifestyles of all kinds of people and preferences,” explained designer Minsun Kang.
The Freestyle’s cover is also made out of a soft rubber material to both protect the product as well as to exude warmth and usability to any user. “With The Freestyle, we are proposing new ambient experiences that have been based on real insight into the way users are consuming content,” noted designer Jenny Jung.
Furthermore, the overall design of The Freestyle makes it a versatile device capable of matching the diverse lifestyles of any user. Those who enjoy camping can safely and easily bring their device along on a trip; those looking to enjoy content immediately need not worry thanks to external batteries2 that support USB-PD and 50W/20V output or above; those looking to relax can transform their room into a gallery with the ambient screen feature; and party people can harness the projector’s range of lighting modes to create the perfect atmosphere.
When designing The Freestyle, Samsung’s designers aspired to create a device that let users view what they want, when they want, wherever they want. The Freestyle goes beyond the capabilities of regular devices thanks to its free and flexible movement and a design ethos that takes after the lifestyle of today’s users.
* The images shown are for illustration purposes only and may differ from the actual products. Product specifications may vary by country, region and model.
1 Light socket connection feature will be first applied in the U.S.
2 Samsung is not liable for 3rd party external batteries.
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[Turning Your Living Room Into a Home Theater] ② The Design Story Behind The Premiere, a Projector That Provides Experiences Beyond ‘Cinematic’By STF News
These days, the ways people are enjoying their favorite media are becoming ever more diverse due to a wide range of different lifestyles and preferences. With the launch of their home cinema projector The Premiere, Samsung Electronics has freed users from the limitations of their domestic spaces: wherever they choose to enjoy their content, The Premiere is capable of acting as a large-screen portal to a new, fully immersive world.
The Premiere was created based on research into and an understanding of real users’ environments and spaces. Its appearance, as well as its functionality, was refined with precision so that the projector fits comfortably into a user’s space as opposed to being a cumbersome device that can only be taken out and used every now and then. In order to learn more about the innovative concept behind The Premiere, Samsung Newsroom sat down with its designers to hear about the journey they went on when creating this unique screen.
A Design That Blends In, Inspired by Users’ Environments
Sungil Bang, Designer at Samsung Electronics’ Visual Display Business
The Premiere’s designers first started by delving into and analyzing the projector market in order to be able to develop a differentiated product. “There are already so many projectors in the market, from affordable ones to high-end ones, all with different specifications,” noted Sungil Bang. “We knew we needed to take a new approach right from the planning stages in order to come up with a product that goes beyond simply being a projector.”
The designers honed in on the idea of the actual space where a projector is to be placed. They focused on the lifestyle and environment trends followed by real users in order to establish their direction for creating a product that provides genuinely enriching experiences. “We worked hard to design a product that presents new experiences thanks to its innovative technologies, while at the same time blending seamlessly in with the user’s furniture and other décor items,” added Bang. “We obtained a lot of inspiration from the space usages, furniture choices and trending objet d’arts we came across during this initial design process.”
(From left) Jigwang Kim, Sungil Bang and Junpyo Kim, the designers at Samsung Electronics’ Visual Display Business
What might be a user’s biggest reason for purchasing a projector? Perhaps so that they can enjoy media more vibrantly on a larger screen, or to add a subtle piece of interior décor flair to a space they otherwise don’t want to place a large TV in. The Premiere’s design team paid close attention to such thinking when developing The Premiere, ensuring that its exterior wouldn’t overwhelm the space it is placed in wherever that may be. “The simplistic design of The Premiere doesn’t stand out too much as an interior décor piece since it naturally blends into the space,” explained Jigwang Kim. “Users can enjoy unparalleled immersive experiences when enjoying content displayed on an entire wall.”
The designers worked diligently on The Premiere’s silhouette to ensure that the projector is able to blend harmoniously into its surroundings as opposed to standing out. The no-frills elements it is composed of, including its round outline and slim lines, complete its overall sleek and soft design. “The projector is able to match other components a user might have nearby, such as a table or a vase, so it’s perfect for those who enjoy minimalistic interior décor,” suggested Jigwang Kim.
Innovative Features Designed for User Comfort
Product design choices are always ultimately made for the user so that they can enjoy their product anytime, anywhere. Due to the common perception that typical projectors can require laborious installation as a certain amount of distance is required between the wall and the projector, as well as the space limitations this can cause, Samsung implemented ultra-short focal point triple laser beam technology. This technology allows The Premiere’s users to enjoy a 4K video up to 330.2cm in size even when the projector is placed as close as 23.8cm to the wall.
Jigwang Kim, Designer at Samsung Electronics’ Visual Display Business
As the world’s first HDR10+ projector, The Premiere offers a maximum brightness of 2,800 ANSI lumens. The Premiere also delivers a 2,000,000:1 contrast ratio, meaning that the projector is able to express all the subtle contrasts and detailing in darker images. Furthermore, “the projector comes with Acoustic Beam speakers that provide deep, 3-dimensional, room-filling sound without the need for any separate speakers,” added Jigwang Kim.
Another leading feature of The Premiere is its smart hub, which allows users to watch all kinds of content and media – requiring only an Internet connection. “The Premiere allows the user to enjoy what they want hassle-free, as there’s no need to connect separate devices to it. It is also connected to SmartThings, so users can monitor and operate their smart home appliances directly from their projector.”
A Stand-Out Design That Blends Seamlessly Thanks to Sophisticated Materials
As opposed to being a hard, cold-looking home appliance, The Premiere has been designed to provide warmth so as to seamlessly blend in to any domestic space. A stand-out feature of its design is the material choice – the design team opted to cover the product with a premium fabric in order to give the projector its warmth and sophistication. “This fabric encompasses a subtle abundance of colors and sophisticated weaving – it is in fact often used for premium brands’ sofas, chairs and other fabric items,” noted Junpyo Kim. “The projector achieves congruity with the space in which it is placed because it has been carefully designed to go well with furniture items.”
However, it wasn’t as simple as it might appear for the design team to be able to fit The Premiere with this premium fabric finish. Since such materials are traditionally used for furniture, the fabric had been designed for a different purpose. “The fabric’s weave structure is denser than other fabrics, meaning that it would affect the sound quality if it were to cover the projector’s speakers,” noted Junpyo Kim. “While this brought about challenges during the design stage, we didn’t want to give up on the uniquely warm and sturdy appearance this fabric provided. Therefore, we increased the aperture ratio of the woven fabric in order to maintain its characteristics while also maintaining optimum sound quality.”
Junpyo Kim, Designer at Samsung Electronics’ Visual Display Business
If you are thinking of transforming your space into a movie theater with truly immersive experiences, or a concert hall full of music – or even a stadium during a sports match, why not try out The Premiere, a projector capable of completely transforming the ambience of the room where it’s placed with ease.
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[Infographic] ‘Where Should I Place My Lifestyle TV?’ A Home Stylist’s Tips for Great Interior DesignBy STF News
With their sensual designs, Samsung’s Lifestyle TVs are being widely used as interior-enhancing items for expressing one’s taste. From The Serif, whose design resembles the capital letter “I”, and The Frame, with its elegant and modern bezel, to The Sero, which features a portrait mode-inspired design, the wide-ranging models in Samsung’s Lifestyle TV lineup cater to many tastes.
Depending on the space, there are various ways in which Samsung’s Lifestyle TVs can be used to enhance an interior. With the help of a home stylist named Rachel, Samsung Newsroom came up with elegant ways to use the company’s Lifestyle TVs and household objects to decorate a variety of spaces. Whether you are decorating your interior with plants or opting for a minimal aesthetic, the following tips and tricks can help you create the perfect space.
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By STF News
Bringing diversity into your design goes beyond diverse imagery. To connect with a wide range of end users, it's essential to think about how your design can be more inclusive and accessible at all points of the process.
In this installment of our Better for All series we're looking at how designers can improve representation and make diversity the standard. Design is a powerful tool that can improve creativity, create inclusivity and improve accessibility. Here are some considerations to help you craft more diverse designs.
Society has been conditioned to believe that homogeneity and non-diversity is the default. However, no two humans are the same, making diversity the common reality that unites us.
While designing, start with empathy and think sensitively about your audiences. Ask yourself who has been underrepresented. Ask yourself if there's any bias in current design trends. Ask yourself if there is an opportunity to redefine stereotypes. Then, challenge the status-quo.
Some changes to improve representation are not making light beige skin tones the default for characters/avatars and avoid using blue and pink to represent men and women, respectively. Or take that a step further and create a non-binary character whose gender identity can't be categorized as exclusively male or female.
Better Accessibility in Design
Throughout the design process, it's important to think about how to make your work accessible to everyone. Fortunately, we live in a time with no shortage of technology that improves accessibility. Consider how your design works with screen readers, braille display, text-to-speech technology, screen magnifier, zoom in features, high contrast browsers or themes.
Some tools worth exploring:
Web Accessibility Initiative Lullabot: How Cool Accessibility Tools Can Make Your Life Easier Readability in design is especially important when you look at the numbers. 1 in 12 men and 1 in 200 women are color blind. 1 in 30 people have low vision. 1 in 188 people are blind. Color is one area that can greatly impair or improve readability. Try and use color to highlight or complement and ensure sufficient contrast between text and background.
Better Cultural References
While diverse representation is the goal, make sure to avoid stereotypical depictions of minority groups. Do your research and engage with the community you're looking to represent. They can help you be mindful of the history behind certain design patterns, symbols or cultural differences that are not easily recognizable to those outside of the culture.
Start your research here with this article from The Next Web, called How to avoid stereotypes when designing for global markets.
Even color isn't universal in its cultural interpretations. For example, red has positive connotations in China, as opposed to negative connotations in Western culture. Not to say that you should avoid certain colors, but when designing for a global audience, you'll want to consider the different cultural context around colors.
Design plays a big part in how we perceive our world and interact with it. Considering diversity in your design is an important step towards building a world where we all feel welcome.
We hope you find our Better for All series helpful in shaping a more diverse and inclusive space. Stay tuned for more blog posts in our series on diverse design and improving accessibility to create an experience that's better for all.
Follow us on Twitter at @samsung_dev for more tips on designing and developing for Samsung.
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By STF News
From the sleek Bordeaux LCD TV launched in 2006 to the very latest Neo QLED 8K lineup released this year, Samsung Electronics’ design philosophy has been focused on purpose-led and user-centered design that has been able to meet the needs of consumers around the world.
By applying minimalistic design thinking and principles to focus just on the core elements of the user experience, Samsung has been showcasing TV designs that seamlessly blend and connect with the screen’s surroundings while taking ever-changing lifestyles, viewing habits and environments into consideration since 2006.
As Samsung commemorates its 15th consecutive year of global market leadership across the TV industry,1 check out the infographic below to see how the company has been leading industry innovation and design and providing the most optimized viewing experiences to users for the past 15 years.
1 January 2021 data released by market research firm Omdia
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