5 Chameleon TV Screen Designs To Transform the ‘Off’ Screen Into A Lifestyle Interface

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Left to right: Alexander Warr (Time Frame), Irem Deniz Akcam (Sphere), Matthew Cockeril (Kinetic Decor), Gerard Puxhe (Architectural Extension), Jianshi Wu (Bird Clock)


Samsung Electronics has teamed up with leading design and architectural magazine Dezeen in a competition to find the next graphic imagery for the QLED TV’s ‘Ambient Mode.’ Open to designers and creatives worldwide, the judges invited shortlisted entrants to the final round of the competition at IFA, with the grand prize winner announced on August 31 in Berlin. The competition saw a myriad of entries from all over the globe, but only five were invited to IFA to showcase their designs in full.


Ambient Mode is the innovative feature of 2018 QLED TVs that transforms the traditionally black display of the ‘off’ screen into a dynamic, animated interior design feature. Ambient Mode can mimic the appearance of the wall it sits on while also conveying chosen imagery or information, such as the time or the weather.


The judges of this contest to find the next Ambient Mode design, including esteemed designer Neville Brody and Serif TV designer Erwan Bourollec, and Dontae Lee, Head of Samsung’s Corporate Design Center, were looking for designs that fit Ambient Mode’s mission to echo its environment and blend seamlessly into the aesthetic of user’s homes. “We weren’t looking for a design that was going to dominate or be too overpowering,” noted judge Neville Brody (pictured below). “The most important feature for us was whether or not the design could really make any environment warm and relaxing, just like Ambient Mode has been designed to do.”



The competition elicited a diverse and exciting range of creative responses to Ambient Mode. “The great thing about all the designs is the potential they all had to be completely customizable,” elaborated Brody. “From the objects or animals involved to the background design, all had the potential to be as personal to users as possible.” Choosing a winner from the five dynamic shortlisted designs was no easy feat, but it was Swift Creative’s design that “offered a level of detail you could get involved in, but at the same time stayed there as a very natural part of the environment,” explained Brody.


The judging panel believe that with these new designs, the QLED TVs and Ambient Mode offer users even more options to personalize and enhance not just their screens, but their living spaces, too.  “Samsung TVs today are truly beautiful,” affirmed Brody. “They are moving the display screen away from being just a piece of technology and towards something that fits more seamlessly into people’s lives. It is a tremendous opportunity for creatives and consumers alike.”



UK-based Swift Creative, the team behind winning design ‘Kinetic Decor’, was inspired by the family connotation of the mobile design as well as their Scandinavian roots. “Our design taps into the fundamental Scandinavian pleasures associated with everyday living and the simple comfort of relaxing at home with friends, using technology to support, not intrude on, this experience,” said Matthew Cockeril (pictured above).


Take a look at the five shortlisted designs in full below.


“Kinetic Decor”, Swift Creatives, UK

This ‘mobile’ concept relies on light cues and motion sensors to determine the activity of the chosen objects or animals (completely customizable) on screen. Regarding the challenges of designing for Ambient Mode, Swift Creative team noted that “treading the fine line between representing something physical and something digital – key to the Ambient Mode offering – required careful thought and conceptualization.”


“Sphere”, Doisign, Turkey

This ‘digital world’ design allows users to catch a glimpse of what is going on in the outside world of their friends and family around the world with this social media and local data powered cut-out design. “Our design has transformed the TV into a personal assistant by harnessing the QLED’s AI and IoT capabilities. The immediate personalized home interface Ambient Mode offers allows users to take their home to a new interaction level.”


“Bird Clock”, Jianshi Wu and Yitan Sun, USA

This whimsical concept showcases the time of day to users through the gentle flutter of birds; the number of birds on each level represents a different digit of the time, and background coloration showcases the time of day. “We wanted our design to make the act of checking the time on a device less of a mindless errand. It embraces how new technology like Ambient Mode can encourage new ways to interact with technology.”


“Time Frame”, Alex Warr and Zach Walters, USA

This design provides a portal into a desired location, be it your current one or somewhere further afield, with the shape of the portal’s frame adjusting to subtly indicate the time of day as a clock would. “Time Frame is a dynamic window, enhancing the user’s space by creating a virtual connection to another environment; it is designed to enhance and expand the possibilities of a user’s space.”


“Architectural Extension”, Gerard Puxhe, UK

This concept expands upon the design of a user’s existing furniture and interior aesthetic, taking on a ‘box’ shape that blends in with the room’s surroundings, while decorative elements subtly reflect live weather and time information. “With ‘Architectural Extension’, I aim to integrate the digital and the physical world in a believable way.”

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