Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Features

October 23, 2013

Home decor with built-in technology

It’s one thing to have a beautiful, comfy bed. But what if it also included a TV screen, game console and dimmable, color-changing lights?

Or say you’ve got just enough room in your apartment for a credenza or speakers, but not both. How about one piece that includes both — and a whole media system?

The integration of technology into home décor has come a long way since clunky TV screens peered out of armoires and media cabinets; today’s super-thin screens can come embedded in the bathroom mirror or attached to the wall like pieces of art.

The “wallpaper” mode on Sharp’s new, high-definition Aquos TV lets you display photos, paintings or other images as wall art when you aren’t watching television. You can set a clock for display times, and the light level is reduced to get rid of glare. (www.sharpusa.com)

Samsung’s four-door fridge has a Wi-Fi enabled screen that you can load with photos, news, calendar, notepad and recipes. (www.samsung.com)

Want to stay on top of the morning news? Seura’s TV screens embed in the bathroom vanity mirror. Robern’s embed in the medicine cabinet. (www.seura.com ; www.robern.com)

TV manufacturers are moving into OLED — organic light emitting diode — technology, which can be linked to computers and other tech devices. It’s thin as a pencil and able to be curved. (www.lg.com)

As for sound systems, Symbol Audio of Nyack, N.Y., has a New Audio Desk that incorporates high-quality speakers into a slim writing desk crafted from maple, walnut, oak or cherry.

Baby boomers may remember the family’s old hi-fi system. While iPhones and iPads can now hold the equivalent of hundreds of Mitch Miller albums, there are still those among us who like the mid-century chic of a retro-styled system. Symbol Audio pays homage to the hi-fi with the Modern Record Console, a walnut cabinet outfitted with a hand-built turntable, amplifier and built-in wireless router.

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