The International Consumer Electronics Show
(CES) showcases next-generation innovations in
consumer technologies. Held annually in Las Vegas, Panasonic
showcased its innovative new range of products and solutions
designed to provide a Better Life, a Better World for its customers
at this year's CES.
Panasonic is working on the worlds' first Blu-ray Disc
playback technology designed to support the latest
technologies - 4K and High Dynamic Range. It's anticipated that
these technologies will be adopted in the next generation Blu-ray
Disc standards, called ULTRA HD BLU-RAY.
A prototype player was displayed at CES with the ability to
integrate video processing and optical disc drive technologies. It
can reproduce 4K high resolution video, alongside High Dynamic
Range support, a wide colour gamut standard and high-efficiency
video compression technology HEVC/Blu-ray Disc playback at a high
bit rate of 100 Mbps.
Panasonic is also set to revamp its smart TV
strategy for 2015 with "Beyond Smart" features. Panasonic is
partnering with Firefox OS to craft a custom user
interface for its CX850, CX800, CX650 and CX600 Series smart TVs.
This custom user interface will be available on its new
"Life+Screen" smart TVs this autumn and it's designed to allow
users access to preferred content and applications from connected
devices quickly and easily.
The CX models will also be equipped with a new Wide Colour
Phosphor technology to deliver high energy efficiency and
brightness. By developing a new phosphor with RGB spectral
characteristics, the CX model TVs will save 40% more energy
compared to 2014's UHD TVs.
Panasonic is re-launching its Technics Hi-Fi audio
brand with two new lines: the Technics R1 Reference-Class
System and the Technics C700 Premium-Class System. "We grow up
repeatedly discovering and being moved by new types of music.
However as we get older we get distracted by all the things going
on in our lives and perhaps misplace the pure love of music," says
Michiko Ogawa, head of the new Technics division. "Through
the new Technics products we are striving to offer listeners the
feeling of rediscovering music by helping them to have such
uniquely emotionally-engaging experiences - ones that we seem to
have lost." The range of Technics products available in the New
Zealand market is still to be confirmed.
Panasonic also introduced a range of new
camcorders at CES this year. At the top end of its line
are the WX970 and VX890, Panasonic's first consumer 4K camcorders.
The VX890, available in New Zealand this autumn, supports the
Wireless Twin Camera function which uses a Wi-Fi connected
smartphone or tablet as a second camera. Other camcorder models
feature the HDR Movie function which simultaneously records two
exposures at different shutter speeds and then merges them.
As an innovator in beauty and grooming products, Panasonic also
unveiled an interactive virtual mirror. It uses a
camera to analyse your face and then recommend make-up and
hairstyles that might suit you - overlaying the image onto your
reflection. The system works by recognising and tracking your face
in real-time - using technology from the LUMIX camera range, and
then projecting a reflected image onto a mirror-like
For business solutions, Panasonic has created a transparent
window display that can be installed in meeting rooms and store
windows. Slides and images can be posted onto windows,
turning them into dynamic transparent displays. Imagery can
also be displayed on walls where there is no screen, such as in a
museum. For now, these displays are concepts, and Panasonic may
launch products based on the ideas in the future.
In 2015, Panasonic will make ground-breaking advancements in
green technology with its Tesla Motors
partnership. Tesla aims to produce 500,000 electric vehicles by
2020 with the help of the forthcoming Gigafactory, a $5 billion
production facility the two companies are building together. The
factory in Nevada will produce lithium-ion batteries for Tesla's
cars at a lower cost. The Gigafactory is scheduled to open in
Panasonic has also partnered with Taipei-based
Gogoro, an electric scooter company. These
sleek-looking, cloud-connected electric scooters are powered by
Panasonic's cylindrical 18,650-size lithium-ion batteries. The
batteries have 25 sensors in them and report their status back to
the cloud every 10 minutes. Gogoro plans to build out a swappable
battery network in emerging and existing megacities. The
lithium-ion batteries have a more than 60-mile range and when the
rider is ready to swap the two batteries in the scooter, they are
routed the nearest charging station through the Gogoro app.