TV & Home Theaters
Advancing Equity in Entertainment: Creating an Inclusive TV Experience With Relumino Mode
Samsung firmly believes in the power of technology to create a more inclusive world. When it comes to design, accessibility should be top of mind to ensure that everyone, regardless of their abilities, can fully enjoy the benefits of modern innovations. Through the use of visual aid features on Samsung TVs, we are helping to bridge the gap and providing an immersive and enjoyable viewing experience for all.
Relumino Mode, a viewing mode on select Samsung TVs, is designed to help improve the visual capabilities for those with low vision, making it possible for more viewers to engage with their favorite shows, movies and documentaries like never before. By enhancing specific parts of videos — such as the contrast, color and sharpness — this feature makes it easier than ever to discern content on the TV screen.
To shed more light on this groundbreaking inclusive technology, Samsung Newsroom sat down with Dr. Kyungah Park and Jason (Jaeseong) Park from the Visual Display Business, Samsung Electronics, to discuss everything from its development to clinical trials.
▲ Jason Park (Samsung Electronics) and Kyungah Park, M.D. (Samsung Medical Center) discuss their journeys in creating and clinically testing Relumino Mode
Screens for All — Including People With Low Vision
Relumino, borrowed from Latin, means “to give back the light.” The idea is to help improve vision as much as possible for people with low vision. Earlier this year at CES, Samsung introduced Relumino Mode on select Samsung TVs. This follows the wearable device “Relumino Glass” and the smartphone image processing software “Relumino App,” revealed at CES in 2017 and 2018, respectively. Relumino was conceived in “C-Lab(Creative Lab),” Samsung Electronics’ in-house venture program. It has evolved and expanded ever since.
“For several years, ‘Screens for All’ has been one of the key mottos for us. We’re working to further enhance TV accessibility and promote inclusion,” said Jason Park, who plans products and services for the Visual Display Business. “People with low vision are still a key demographic that need better TV viewing experiences.”
Innovation Rooted in the User’s Perspective
To develop Relumino Mode, planners and engineers met with a number of advisors who had visual impairments to understand their wants and needs.
“There’s an early experience that really changed my perspective,” shared Jason. “When we first met an advisor for Relumino Mode, I asked him to ‘Please come here and have a seat’ to which he replied, ‘Where is here?’ That was a hard and clear wake-up call for me. I was so embarrassed.” It was then that Jason realized that they were exploring a totally new territory and would have to first understand the way their users see the world.
Despite the decades of collective experience in enhancing TV picture quality, this particular project presented a unique challenge that none of the engineers had encountered before. Typically, their expertise lay in identifying even the slightest imperfections on the screen, but now they had to understand what it’s like as a viewer to have low vision. In addition to consulting advisors, the engineers utilized special goggles that simulated blurry vision, serving as a starting point for their exploration. Through a process of generating ideas, conducting trials and learning from mistakes, they eventually developed a solution that could be considered a genuinely effective viewing mode.
Clinical Trials and Direct Feedback
After initial research and development came trials on a larger scale. This is where Samsung Electronics decided to collaborate with Samsung Medical Center, one of South Korea’s most comprehensive medical facilities.
“Clinical trials are popular and recruiting subjects for these projects is relatively easy. Some even ask to join before we ask,” said Dr. Park. “But, that was not the case for the Relumino study. The pool was much more limited as we were stricter with our requirements — we targeted people who have lower vision than WHO’s vision impairment criteria.”
However, the people that Samsung contacted showed significant passion for the project. “Many who joined the trials were very excited and didn’t mind traveling long distances for the study. Thanks to their support and encouragement, we were able to carry out the research,” Dr. Park added.