In previous years, we have done some work for Panasonic before IFA, preparing talks and white papers on new features of their TVs. Not this year, however, so we were looking forward to the Panasonic press event as there was the potential for some genuine surprises.
As usual Laurent Abadie, chairman and CEO of Panasonic Europe, opened the event. He said that the year had been a different one. Panasonic’s home and automotive business has been growing. He introduced a video of the Fujisawa project in Japan, which is being developed around the ‘smart town’ concept. Fujisawa highlights Panasonic’s evolution into a ‘solutions’ company. Abadie also mentioned the way that Panasonic is developing automotive systems to reduce accidents, which is being trialled in Japan now.
Turning to the home, Panasonic is working on smart device communications with Verisure, in the Nordics, to manage home heating, lighting and security.
The next speaker was Tetsura Homma from the Panasonic home appliance business. He said that what the company is offering is “premium lifestyle”, rather than just appliances. This means technology innovation and careful design. For example, Homma showed a sheet like a mirror that actually uses sensors to recommend different make up, as well as detect skin problems.
There was a new UltraHD TV with a minimal ‘no pedestal’ design, to make the TV look like a part of the room furniture. The aim is to retain viewers’ attention on the screen. Panasonic will also introduce audio and lighting systems to work with the TV. The company plans to expand consumer electronics product sales to