Feature Design Organic Light Emitting Diode TV:XEL-1
Feature Design Organic Light Emitting Diode TV:XEL-1

New GUI, inspired by the expressive OLED panel

Kayo Sasaki

Sasaki: The XEL-1 has special wallpaper in the background, behind the Cross Media Bar (XMB) and on other screens. In the graphical user interface, this is the most prominent difference from "BRAVIA" sets.

Here, we had to choose the right wallpaper for a panel this thin and light. In the course of viewing various samples to see what direction we would take it, I noticed how different OLED is from LCD—how expressive the organic panel is. The screen has an extremely high resolution, and black brings images into sharp focus. So I decided the graphics should make the most of this.

The richness of gradation also surprised me. Besides fine lines, the XEL-1 can produce very subtle colors, so delicate you might not notice in bright rooms. To take advantage of this versatile palette, we could reveal a different world when users see the graphics in a sunny study than in a bedside setting at night. That would be interesting, I thought.

Ultimately, I created a rippling pattern of countless lines against a black background. There's an eerily beautiful effect in a dark room. The black screen blends in seamlessly with the bezel leaving only the lines, suspended in the air. I think owners will appreciate the effect. The OLED panel also gives the pattern a greater sense of depth, thanks to lines that are finer and subtler than I've ever seen. But achieving this effect was a bit like Japanese flower arrangement. For each line, I fine-tuned the shading, width, and other details. I was meticulous about the arrangement and spacing. A simple idea, but very hard to design. In retrospect, these subtle adjustments took the most time.

I do the actual design work on an LCD computer monitor. But that's vastly different from the image quality of an organic panel. So I had to check the graphics on the XEL-1 again and again, which took some patience.

Details that get people talking

Organic Light Emitting Diode TV:XEL-1

Sasaki: "Organic" was my guiding theme for the pattern of lines. That idea came from the OLED panel itself. I wanted to create a space reminiscent of a grassy field or an open expanse of ocean, glowing in the moonlight. And here, there's something a little special about the colors. Actually, they change over time. In the morning the pattern is a vibrant green. Gradually, it turns yellow, and by evening, it's a dusky orange. What enables this range of expression is the organic panel. It would be nearly impossible on regular sets to capture this wide range of hues and delicate gradation. The graphics I created, which I hope owners enjoy, are just a little demonstration of the impressive image quality.

The line crests and spacing changes slightly in response to XMB operations. As you use the interface, you become aware of the changes, and interacting with the product takes on a new dimension. At least, that's my hope, in these details.

I know owners will appreciate the picture quality and usability of the XEL-1. But personally, I'm not satisfied with that level of success. I hope whenever a few people are around an XEL-1, the set will become the focus of conversation. Those who notice subtle changes in the color or pattern will have something new to talk about. That's the kind of satisfaction and enjoyment I want to provide.

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