For any aesthetically minded person, the television, besides being a source of occasional entertainment, is a visual blight, a gaping black hole in the carefully considered decor of a room.
For years, designers and creative homeowners have thought up savvy ways to conceal the TV, stashing it away in a cabinet, employing an electric motor that raises it down from a ceiling or up from a footboard.
As TVs have gotten larger in size, these challenges have become more—challenging. Last year, the intrepid and tech-savvy designer Yves Béhar presented a concept that made the large-scale, flat-screen television far more palatable.
The Frame reverted to what looked like a framed artwork when not in use.
Now, Samsung—the creator of the Frame—is taking that concept one step further.
Today, in its launch of a new suite of QLED televisions debuted at New York’s American Stock Exchange Building, the South Korean electronics giant made a huge design decision: ambient mode, a setting on all of its sets that endeavors to blend the televisions into their surroundings. It can look almost transparent on your wall when switches off.
Like the frame, ambient mode (which is accessible via a new voice control assistant, Bixby, the Smart Things app, or a simplified remote) can display art. It can also list out top headlines when you get ready.
But the capability that’s sure to excite the design-minded set is one that no television has done before.
See the video