SLICE OF LIVING
A TV can be a work of art in the living-space context, an element for users to experience. Sony has brought that idea to fruition with a new, innovative TV design that inhabits the space with an artistic ambience.
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The Slice of Living concept takes elements and manners that have always been part of the “living room” ideal and reconstructs them in new ways to create products that harmonize naturally with their surroundings. We wanted to get to the heart of that central essence. We wanted to push the TV aesthetic beyond the traditional realms of furniture and interior design. What we came up with was the One Slate concept—an approach that condenses a given product into a single slate, giving the product a natural elegance for users to experience as a work of art in and of itself. The standard protocols of TV design no longer applied. To create a design capable of transforming living spaces, we knew what the design had to do: shape the TV into a work of art.
Art is about more than just visual appeal—it lets the viewer experience something. That was the basic idea driving the design process for this new TV. As we started formulating concepts for a simple, minimalist aesthetic in the One Slate mold, we thought that we could just use OLED display technology to put all the different functions within the screen itself—and that would eliminate the need for distinct elements like speakers, a bezel, or a stand. For the audio, we incorporated sound into the screen using new sound technology that generates sound through vibrations in the display itself, consolidating the visual experience and the aural experience into a single slate. The TV had to have a sleek, natural presence in wall-mounted configurations too, so we kept the overall structure minimal with a primary display slate and a support slate on the back. That’s all there is to the whole design. Picture, sound, and design aesthetics—when you bring those three components together into a unified whole, you’ve got all you need. It’s the purest One Slate experience possible.
In search of the ultimate simplicity for the ultimate experience
Our job was to figure out how to deliver the ultimate viewing experience. The question we asked ourselves was simple: what does a display need at the most fundamental level? We got to the point where we had to create a brand-new form factor, one that would move away from the conventional stand-and-bezel framework and let us redefine the overall experience. If we could change how TVs look, we figured we could change how people imagine their living spaces and even how they go about living their day-to-day lives. To make that aesthetic transformation, we opted for a combination of maximum simplicity and the epitome of the viewing experience. With this design, people are going to be able to explore worlds of new possibilities in shaping their living spaces.
Tako, Chief Art Director
The One Slate concept aims to eliminate every extraneous element from the TV design, allowing users to immerse themselves more fully in the viewing experience. To make that minimalist design a reality, we decided to go back to square one and overhaul the entire TV structure. By taking the substrate and terminals—components that normally occupy the back surface of a TV—and putting them inside the rear support slate, for example, we gave the screen side a slimmer profile. The glass covering, meanwhile, bolsters the structure with added strength and makes for an exquisite, glossy finish. The One Slate look holds true from any standpoint, too. We kept the back slate as narrow as possible to hide the edges from view—even from an oblique angle. Another focal point was the pitch of the screen, which we tweaked to ensure that the display would sit at a natural angle and give users a comfortable viewing experience. By bringing all these different details together into a complete, no-frills design, the TV does more than just evoke a work of art with a sleek, single-slate silhouette. It also has the aesthetic versatility to go anywhere in the room—not just in the corner—and resonate with spaces in any configuration, be it on the wall or on a flat surface.
Contrasting materials by learning from living spaces
The TV’s unique fusion of image and sound needed to be compatible with living spaces. That meant getting all the details right, all the way down to the materials. For the aluminum lining the sides of the screen, we found the perfect combination of dye coloring and chemical polishing to deliver a sheen that harmonizes with the glass material but still maintains a discreet, delicate touch. The team also arranged the vibration speakers, located on the middle of the back surface, for optimal sound to form a horizontal solid bar with the aluminum—a design feature that not only enhances the strength of the TV but also gives the product a slimmer look. For the support slate, we used a fabric material to contrast the glass with a soft visual texture. The fabric serves a functional purpose too, dampening the bass of the subwoofer in the back panel for a deeper aural presence. By incorporating a diverse mix of materials that feature prominently in living spaces, from fabric and glass to aluminum, the TV strikes a natural chord with its surroundings.
With the One Slate idea, we knew what the key would be: simplicity. The form had to be simple; the details had to be simple. Given all the different elements of a TV design, though, optimizing the design involved its share of complications. For us, it was hard to find the right balance between the various materials, get the textures into the right alignment, fit a big subwoofer into a slim configuration, and get the user-friendly cable management structure to look great all the way around to the back surface. That’s where collaboration was vital—designers and engineers teamed up, struggling through all the challenges together until the TV finally arrived at its ideal design.
Image, sound, and look—no more, no less. Sony’s new design breaks the TV concept down into the embodiment of functional and aesthetic simplicity, creating a viewing experience like no other. Just like a work of art shapes a gallery, the One Slate experience changes the way TVs and spaces interact.