Panasonic at the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 20158th January 2015     By: Panasonic Media

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 screen. 

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 2017.

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.



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