Innovation Sighting: Task Unification in Samsung’s New Smart TV

Imagine no longer deliberating between trendy art, your favorite photos, or the nonnegotiable family TV for your prominent living room wall. Samsung’s new 2018 QLED TVs are designed to end that dilemma and serve a two-in-one purpose: endless entertainment and personalized décor. And it turns out, Samsung’s newest design is a great example of the innovation template called Task Unification.

Task Unification is defined as: assigning an additional task to an existing resource. That resource should be in the immediate vicinity of the problem, or what we call The Closed World. In essence, it’s taking something that is already around you and giving it an additional job. Using the SmartThings App and the “ambient mode” setting, Samsung enabled the QLED TV screen to change appearance, looking like the area around it when not in use.

As CNN Tech states,

“It’s designed to work for mounted TVs when users aren’t watching a show or movie. The intent is to match interior décor rather than looking like an eyesore on the wall.

To set up the feature, you’ll need to take a picture of the mounted TV via the corresponding Samsung SmartThings app. From there, the app uses a color and brightness matching process to display the same color or pattern as the TV’s surroundings. Users can also upload their own photos instead or use pre-set décor images, such as a photo of mountains.”

You can also utilize this technique to innovate helpful products. To get the most out of the Task Unification technique, you follow five basic steps:

  1. List all of the components, both internal and external, that are part of the Closed World of the product, service, or process.
  2. Select a component from the list. Assign it an additional task, using one of three methods:
  • Choose an external component and use it to perform a task that the product accomplishes already
  • Choose an internal component and make it do something new or extra
  • Choose an internal component and make it perform the function of an external component, effectively “stealing” the external component’s function
  1. Visualize the new (or changed) products or services.
  2. What are the potential benefits, markets, and values? Who would want this, and why would they find it valuable? If you are trying to solve a specific problem, how can it help address that particular challenge?
  3. If you decide the new product or service is valuable, then ask: Is it feasible? Can you actually create these new products? Perform these new services? Why or why not? Is there any way to refine or adapt the idea to make it viable?

To learn more about Task Unification and other Systematic Inventive Thinking templates, read more at my site.