Last week I was invited along to the beautiful neo classical River Rooms at Somerset House for the launch of Serif TV. The culmination of a 2 year collaboration between the Bouroullec Brothers and Samsung, Serif breaks away from the preoccupation with ultra flat screens and instead offers a design that is intended to sit more naturally within the home. The choice of both the location and the timing of the launch - during London Design Festival rather than at an electronics show - only served to reinforce the impression that this is a television that belongs not to the world of technology but to the world of furniture and design.
Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec were at the launch to explain the design thinking and process behind the products. Both were clearly enthused with the final outcome which was on display in various size and colour options, alongside their early development sketches, mock ups and prototypes.
Its contemporary form is a breath of fresh air in a world dominated by, let's be honest, boring flat black screens. The design encourages a return to the idea of the TV being 'part of the furniture' in our domestic landscape, rather than just another screen chasing the relentless pursuit of a technological disappearing act. It aims to fit into our modern homes without apologising for its existence, a desirable product worthy of its place in our living rooms. Even its name has personality, unusual for its genre, coming from the television's profile when viewed from the side - literally resembling a capital 'I' in a serif font. Along with a touchy-feely textile covered back panel, optional screw-in legs allow you to position it wherever your prefer in the home, again details more akin to furniture than an electronic product.
Serif reminds us too how much we increasingly depend upon modern technology, and how our lives revolve more and more around juggling activities and multi-tasking priorities, both real and digital. Just like our phones, TVs are increasingly smart and not just for passively watching broadcast programmes. These days we expect more and more from them - from listening to music to skyping friends, playing computer games and downloading the latest boxset - and so it's really rather a refreshing change to see technology being celebrated in a more soulful manner.
Serif comes in three sizes - a 40 inch screen, a 32 inch screen and a Serif Mini with a screen size of 24 inches - and will be available in stores from early November 2015.
It's already on my Christmas wish list!