[Design Story] Complete Immersion: The Minimalist Design of Samsung’s Neo QLED 8K TVsShare open/close
When it comes to eliminating unnecessary elements in design, the first stage in the process is to ascertain what aspects are essential. In designing their TVs, Samsung Electronics pursues a design evolution aesthetic that brings about value through careful elimination – rather than unnecessary addition.
While functionality remains a crucial part of any TV’s design, Samsung’s designers also focus on the viewing experience, expanding the scope of design from considerations of the space where a TV is placed to the way surrounding devices link to it. Through careful research into the various lifestyles and viewing environments of users, factors that could potentially hinder viewing immersion have been removed from the Samsung Neo QLED 8K so that all that remains serves only the act of viewing – the true purpose of a TV.
The Infinity Screen, a unique aspect of Samsung’s TV design, maximizes immersion by reducing the number of bezels to almost nothing. The boundaries of Samsung Neo QLED 8K have been trimmed to near zero thanks to advanced technologies and design processes. Its 0.8mm stainless steel frame removes the boundary between the screen and its environment, practically giving the illusion that the screen is floating. To further remove any hindrances to a viewer’s experience, the Samsung logo has also been reduced in size so that the product itself, not just its name, stands out as the icon.
Despite its slim appearance, the TV’s performance is powerful thanks to the inclusion of innovative technologies. The speaker hole and subwoofer systems, precisely implemented in the back of the screen, emit a sound quality rich enough to require no additional speaker, and thanks to AI technology, users can enjoy optimized sounds tuned to their content and environments. The Neo QLED 8K offers viewers immersion from both inside and outside of the screen – all wrapped up in a sleek, thin package.
Reimagining One Connect
One of the main benefits of a large screen TV is the ability to true and vivid immersion in your favorite content, but if the area surrounding the TV is distracting, this enjoyable experience can be interrupted. In designing the Neo QLED 8K, Samsung’s designers took into consideration such scenarios and underwent a re-examination of the way the product fits into its space.
Wall-mounted TVs usually require accessories embedded into both the product and the wall they sit against, while stand-type TVs require tables or other furniture that can quickly become cluttered. To avoid any of these inconveniences, Samsung’s One Connect has been redesigned to fit various usage environments in order to enhance viewer immersion. The optimized size and thickness of the renewed One Connect was determined through careful consideration of different environments, and its plate-type, slim appearance makes installation easy and neat.
Part of this redesign to the existing One Connect led Samsung designers to devise a new accessory: the Attachable Slim One Connect, which can be utilized as a TV stand. While the stand has always been an integral component of TV design, it has not played any role other than that of screen support – until now. The Attachable Slim One Connect has been designed as a stand, too, with a form that interferes neither with function nor shape and effectively disguises the Attachable Slim One Connect as a simple stand.
Further to the space efficiency and aesthetic benefit offered by the Attachable Slim One Connect, elements on the TV itself have been reorganized in order to preserve immersion and prioritize ease-of-use, such as the change of the placement of the cable input module from the back of the TV to the side of the Attachable Slim One Connect stand for seamless access.
How Samsung’s Designers Approach Minimalist Design
1. When designing the Neo QLED 8K, what did you want to carry on from previous Samsung QLED 8K models and what did you want to change?
Jangho Kim: The Infinity One Design has been created with a focus on total integration rather than simple ‘slimness,’ resulting in every element that doesn’t maximize screen immersion being removed. This represents the direction Samsung designers believe that TVs should be moving in. During the design process, I wanted to include the unique identity of the Samsung QLED 8K line and then enhance it through better understanding of users and their spaces. I believe that the combination of advanced technologies with user-centric developments will bring special experiences to our users.
2. During the design process, it seems that decisions had to be made about what to keep and what to remove. What were the driving forces behind making these decisions?
Jigwang Kim: While any design refinement process is never easy, the experience of developing the Attachable Slim One Connect design was the most challenging. We wanted to implement the functionality of a TV stand into the One Connect model, a process that brought about many obstacles to overcome in the initial development stages.
Jangho Kim: Although such a dual-function accessory had never existed before, I wanted to be sure that the Attachable Slim One Connect retained its predecessor’s attractive form. This required us to devise a completely new design, and in order to find the optimum size and form factor for the product, all the relevant departments spent countless hours working through different options.
3. The consideration of different types of user environments was at the center of the Neo QLED 8K’s design process. What did you learn from such a process, and which design elements reflect these novel considerations?
Sangyoung Lee: The spaces users are placing their TVs in are becoming more and more diverse. Especially as people spend more time at home, the desire to ensure one’s interior aesthetic matches one’s tastes is becoming of paramount importance. In order to match the lifestyles of today, we analyzed the user’s TV experience on a micro level, down to the smallest aspects. I wanted to provide people with reasonable and simple TV usability, and so the Attachable Slim One Connect’s design was brought about to maximize immersion with its simple yet restrained appearance that can suit any user’s space.
4. What do you hope your legacy is as a designer for Samsung Electronics?
Jinsu Park: I hope that I am able to bring the everyday into product design. The meaning of the word ‘design’ is ambiguous: it can signify ‘innovation,’ and it can also signify ‘simple joy.’ I wish to practice design processes that bring all such values into users’ daily lives.
The evolution of Samsung’s TV design is always geared towards providing users with more immersive viewing experiences. Samsung and its designers will continue to challenge themselves to create products that provide users with leading functionality and a design that captures the true essence of the product.
You can also find more details at Design Samsung website.