House Design

Interior designers approve of new technology

Written by The ReReport

Televisions have become smarter and have higher definition, but until now, they were only useful when they were turned on.In a technological age where you can search the internet on your smart fridge and you can answer the front door with your smart phone, the television has had to step up, crossing over into the interior design space.Samsung recently unveiled its second generation of The Frame, which can display art when you’re not catching up on your favourite television shows.media_cameraSamsung’s The Frame (right) makes your television look like a framed artwork on the wall. Picture: SuppliedContent creators for interiors website The Stylephiles, Steph Waterman and Kaz Bell, say Samsung’s new direction is a direct response to interior design trends.“Smart technology innovation has developed so quickly, and we expect so much more from our devices and our home appliances,” Kaz says.“The television was traditionally a piece of technology that sat in the corner, redundant for many hours of the day. But with this television you can access beautiful images and artworks. It’s a virtual art gallery when not being used to watch television.” Out of the closetAs open-plan living becomes the norm in new and renovated properties, the television has come out of hiding.“In the past, people may have had a television room, where the family would come together, which was not part of the main living space,” Steph says.media_cameraThe new Echo Show has a glass bexel, instead of plastic, so that it looks like a small television.“Most of us now live in open-plan apartments or homes, so the television is smack bang in the middle of our living areas. When it’s not on, looking at a piece of art that blends in with the rest of the decor is so much more appealing than looking at a blank screen.”Samsung’s 4K television has a custom frame, which allows homeowners to match it to their living space, and change it down the track when their style preference changes.media_cameraThe sandstone colour scheme has become a popular addition to the Amazon Echo range.“We encourage a lot of our clients to be fluid with design,” says Kaz. “They don’t want to be chained to one particular style, so if you buy a side table for a dressing room, where else could you use it?“A home should be a celebration of your personality.”Samsung Electronics Australia head of audio visual Hass Mahdi says The Frame has been designed to change the way people think about their televisions.media_cameraThe Echo Plus fits right in with the interior design scheme.“The Frame tackles the longstanding issue of a big blank screen that appears when you turn your television off,” Hass says.With the addition of an Art Mode setting on The Frame, you can choose artwork from some of the world’s most prominent museums including The Albertina in Austria, and Lumas, a major Berlin gallery. Contemporary livingSmart tech companies in general, are starting to make devices that blend into the home, rather than stand out, such as the sound decks of the 1970s and the stereos of the 1980s.With the demand for voice-prompted devices showing no sign of slowing down, Miriam Daniel, vice-president of Alexa and Echo Devices (Amazon), says these products should add value to our life and home, and not be an ugly piece of tech that hides in the background.media_cameraThe Echo Dot has been designed in neutral tones to blend into the background.Miriam says the Echo Show, which has a 10-inch HD display with a built-in voice activated smart home hub, was designed to be visually appealing. The new design has lost the plastic bezel, predominant in other designs on the market, favouring a contemporary thick glass screen edge.“The design process is as important as the tech side of things,” says Miriam. “We won’t compromise on the visuals and sound of the product, but we don’t want it to look like technology from the ’90s either.“We asked ourselves, ‘what if people use this as their television?’. They could have it on the kitchen benchtop as they cook. You don’t want a clunky, ugly box, especially in a modern kitchen.”media_camera“The design process is as important as the tech side of things. We don’t want it to look like technology from the ‘90s.”The Echo devices are portable and include an Echo dot to play music and Echo Sub, which has a wireless subwoofer, and they’ve been designed in neutral tones to blend in with most decor styles.“The pieces had to be able to flow between communal spaces and not look out of sorts,” Miriam says. “They had to have soft finishing touches instead of hard plastics, and we chose three fabrics that we thought would work well in a contemporary home.” More:;;

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