CES is so far in the rearview mirror, it's basically time to start planning for the next one. However, Samsung is still making waves after releasing information on The Frame - a television disguised as art on the wall - that took home "Best of Innovations Award" this year.
Historically, I've given Samsung a lot of tough love. Part of me is really impressed with both the speed and quantity of new products, but I haven't dropped my guard because of a few fancy gimmicks and clever marketing. For example, their line of smart refrigerators, in particular, have given me a lot of grief between implied usefulness and actual innovation. You can't slap a tablet on something and call revolutionary, but I digress.
However, their new direction of televisions is actually finding whitespace in the industry and filling it up quick.
The Frame is the brainchild of famous Swiss designer Yves Behar, who is known for fuseproject, an award-winning industrial design and branding firm. What makes it unique is the ability to blend into the decor by showing art when not in use, and being literally framed in real wood bezels for a few bucks more.
Showcasing the art is Samsung's aptly named 'Art Store' that offers individual pieces for $19.99 or memberships for about $5 a month - or owners can just upload their own favorite pieces. Paired with their new Invisible Connection Cable and No Gap Wall Mount means your new art piece will blend in anywhere you put it. Sensors in the television can also tell if people are around, going to sleep when needed.
“The Frame is a beautiful display designed specifically to bring walls to life whether it is in use or not,” said Yves Behar. “The Frame is not just another television, but a new experience of displays in the home.”
The best part is The Frame is priced at $1999 or $2799, for a 55" or 65" respectively, and has all the bells and whistles of a 4K HDR smart TV.
So where's the white space? Well, TV's — and home theaters in general — have been getting sleeker and more attractive over the past decade. We've certainly come a long way from rear projection TVs and 100-pound floor speakers. Companies like Apple and Sonos got that message a long time ago, but this is one of the first examples of effortless integration for televisions and it will surely be a slamdunk for Samsung.
A little bit of chicken or the egg, it's hard to tell if this is art that plays HDR content or a TV that blends in with the decor, but either way, it is a perfect example of function and form. Samsung's design focused, art-centric TV dubbed The Frame is a piece of tech that is sure to be trailblaze an emerging market of functional decor.