Have you ever heard of the expression ‘build a bridge and get over it’? Well electronics giant Samsung has gone one better. It’s built The Wall, a customised modular micro-LED display, and there’s definitely no getting over this.
An owner’s journey begins long before their barefoot hits the teak decking. It’s a journey of self-discovery that begs the question, “If I could have anything, what would I choose?”. Much like an imagined winning lottery ticket, drawing up a list of “wants” will take any owner on an exploration into deep blue oceans and blue sky thinking. There’s not a superyacht on water where every conceivable item on board is anything other than a lesson in bespoke design.
A superyacht offers something that few other tangible assets in life can offer. Freedom of choice without restraint. And The Wall by Samsung translates that ideal into the most advanced form of screen technology, and then runs with it.
Now is the time to step aboard. The captain welcomes guests with a smile, while the chief stew hands out refreshing mint spritzers. Thumbprint access grants entry through the double doors into the main deck saloon. An octopus-shaped crystal chandelier hangs over the 12-person dining table. And then there it is. The Wall. A customised modular micro LED display like no other, stretching the room’s full-beam width and creating a world of illusion yet to be experienced.
Whether a yacht represents hard-earned success or the ultimate form of escapism, it is, by definition, a private inner sanctuary. It’s where friends, family and loved ones can hunker down amid the dark wengé flooring, Himalayan cashmere carpets and hand-embroidered silk wall hangings. Where submarine piloting becomes a Tuesday afternoon activity. Where swimming with Humpback whales off of Lizard Island on the Great Barrier Reef is no longer an unfulfilled childhood dream, or cruising the frigid Norwegian fjords becomes an annual occurrence. And where, at the end of an adrenaline–filled day, guests regroup to share in the exceptional.
Samsung’s The Wall facilitates this experience by transforming space. Available from 75 inches to an unashamed 292 inches (that’s a whopping 24 foot), it is fully customisable to any shape or design. And it needn’t be limited to a cinema room setting. Free your mind of all preconceived ideas and let your imagination wander.
Visualise a central staircase where a snaking LED backdrop transports guests to a lush rainforest where butterflies, birds and swaying trees track their every step. Enter the lower deck beach club, where the walls and ceiling come alive to create an underwater experience. Sit back in the formal dining room and observe the living artwork – one minute a Picasso, the next moment the entrance to a 15th century wine cellar.
“The early adopters of The Wall surprised us,” says Sarah Irish of Samsung Electronics UK. “What we have found is that these displays are no longer seen as just a TV. Owners are treating their installations as pieces of art that complement the aesthetics of their living space and integrate with their own preferences including their art collections. The most luxurious homes demand the ultimate display solutions, and superyachts are no exception.”
Built by design
The beauty of The Wall, aside from its market leading technology, is that it’s built exclusively for each owner. A standard configuration consists of 16 panels (also known as micro-tile technology), each closing together seamlessly to form a 146–inch display. But its size, shape and ratio can be fully customised to suit all spatial and aesthetic needs. It’s easy to install, and even easier to maintain. If one panel should fail, it can be popped out and swapped with minimal fuss by an onboard ETO. And it’s even been optimised for a marine setting, whereby additional features are hidden within the structure to counteract vibrations commonly felt when underway, therefore guaranteeing uninhibited viewing.
“The Wall has an expected service life of one hundred thousand hours,” explains Irish. “It is built for continuous use, 24 hours a day.”
Unlike a projector or standard TV, The Wall is designed to never be switched off. So, in literal terms, if in constant use, it has a minimum 10-year shelf life. And the onboard illusion never stops. The Wall becomes a defining feature of whichever space it occupies. The result is otherworldly, a hyper-real digital surface for TV, art and interactive experiences capable of changing an entire room. That feature alone has solved a problem facing other big screens on the market, says Irish.
“Why have a large black rectangle on the wall or go to the trouble of concealing a screen when that is no longer the only option?” she questions. “Mornings can be spent on an exercise bike with a jaw-dropping landscape as a backdrop. Younger guests can spend the afternoon immersed in the latest games console, and once they retire the same backdrop transforms to a piece of digital art created by your favourite artist.”
But The Wall doesn’t just satisfy owners’ requirements and engineers’ enthusiasm for tech. Samsung is smarter than that. It’s been configured with an interior designer in mind, too, not to mention a shipyard’s strict weight criteria. At just 30mm in depth it provides a discreet, bespoke build that gives any space an awe-inspiring edge, sitting flush in any setting. Little wonder it’s proving so popular with designers, stylists and architects who look for cohesive solutions that fit with their artistic vision. Chameleon in character, The Wall can even ‘disappear’. When not in use it defaults to ambient mode, mimicking the colour and texture of its surroundings or transforming into high-definition artwork.
“Working in collaboration with specialised custom integrators who can configure The Wall exactly to your wishes, Samsung relies on this select group to achieve the full scope of the product and deliver the very best service,” explains Irish. “This is how you create a ‘multi-purpose’ luxury entertainment space alongside sound, lighting and bespoke control systems. To ensure this installation is as flawless as the product we provide, these integrators undergo specialist certified training.’’
On the big screen
Despite not being limited to a home cinema setting, when included on board a yacht for this very purpose, The Wall doesn’t just deliver, it blows all other screens out of the water. It is unparalleled in its visuals, whether that be films to gaming to art installations. This is because it combines an exceptionally black base with specialised inbuilt Black Seal Technology to create a uniform black canvas and enhance the durability of the display.
What that means is, unlike conventional home cinemas, there is no need to create a darkened space for the best experience. The image is of the highest quality even in direct sunlight. So, live football matches on the aft deck? Check. Afternoon family movies in the sky lounge? Check. An all-day kaleidoscopic party in the beach club with a DJ on the decks and The Wall providing a hedonistic ambience? Whatever floats your boat.
The superyacht design trends of today focus heavily on an abundance of glass that gives uninterrupted sightlines. Floor-to-ceiling windows in every area possible allowing natural sunlight to flood the interior. Transparent bulwarks that provide sprawling vistas from the main saloon to the main deck forward and beyond. Under normal circumstances, this type of sought-after setting means it’s ‘game over’ for screens. But Samsung keeps everyone happy, letting the outdoors in while delivering a crystal clear and larger than life picture. Its Black Seal Technology reflects sunlight, protects the screen from dust and damage, and makes black tones appear blacker than black.
The Wall also uses Ultra Chroma Technology that brings detail to life through vibrant superior colour quality, natural tones and depth of picture unrivalled by conventional LED screens. And thanks to an astonishing 100Hz video rate, it’s ideal for viewing fast-moving sports, such as Grand Prix racing and MotoGP.
Combined, these technologies make for an awe–inspiring visual experience, or in other words, it’s the full package. The direct view LED technology represents a significant improvement over the projection screens that dominate today’s market. And The Wall is perfectly suited to the forward-thinking and visionary interiors that superyacht owners are realising today.
“Samsung as a whole is a technology driven brand that continues to have its audience in mind when considering new products,” says Irish. “So when The Wall was put together, Samsung created nothing but the best. Not only does The Wall bring a sense of high–quality technology, but an outstanding view of innovation. What you see here is the future. LEDs become smaller and smaller. In years to come they will be the standard for consumer TVs, smartphone screens or the dashboard in your car. We’ve bought the future forward to today.”
So, cruising on a yacht through the Caribbean when the sun is shining but the trade winds are blowing needn’t dampen the viewing fun anymore. With The Wall’s anti-reflection technology to eliminate glare, it’s the perfect companion to round off any superyacht entertainment experience, whatever the weather.
It’s fair to say that Samsung is the ultimate technology brand, pioneering in its field and leading by example. Alongside The Wall, it boasts a wide range of products from TVs, smartphones, wearable devices, tablets, cameras, digital appliances, medical equipment, network systems, and semiconductor and LED solutions. Connecting devices and having a great user experience has never been so easy. With the motivation to develop technology Samsung is forever striving to bring game changers to the table.
The Wall invokes a term as yet unfamiliar with the broader TV-buying audience: MicroLED. But like most things worth having, you have to see it to believe it. And The Wall is no exception, says Irish. “The Wall offers the ultimate luxury experience along with the highest quality image, optimised brightness and contrast, all in a sleek design which complements a luxury yacht aesthetic. But it needs to be seen to be truly appreciated,” she says. “Samsung are committed to making that experience possible, which is why we have appointment only viewing spaces available in London, Milan and Monaco, and are on hand to welcome clients who wish to take their interior design and viewing capability to the next level.”
When does a TV stop being a TV? When it’s The Wall by Samsung.
About Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd
Samsung inspires the world and shapes the future with transformative ideas and technologies. The company is redefining the worlds of TVs, smartphones, wearable devices, tablets, digital appliances, network systems, and memory, system LSI, foundry and LED solutions. For the latest news, please visit the Samsung Newsroom at http://news.samsung.com/uk/.
This article and many others are available to read for free in the latest edition of Superyacht Technology Blueprint, here.