Panasonic initiative to promote voice guidance products that improve the quality of life (QOL) of people who are visually impaired whereby competitors join forces to honor the philosophy of universal design (promoted in collaboration with Mitsubishi Electric Corporation) won the IAUD 2013 Gold Award organized by the International Association for Universal Design. This is the second consecutive year that Panasonic has received an IAUD Gold Award. Panasonic also received two silver awards for its "global launch of the voice guidance equipped TV" and "solar lanterns." This is also the second year in a row that Panasonic has won a Silver Award. In addition to these products, six more products were selected for the IAUD Awards, so in total Panasonic received nine commendations, the most number of IAUD Awards it has ever received.
Initiative to promote voice guidance products that improve the quality of life (QOL) of people who are visually impaired
Panasonic and Mitsubishi Electric develop and made available numerous products equipped with voice guidance to help make the lives of the elderly and people who have difficulty operating electrical devices easier (*).For example, both brands' TVs are standardly equipped with voice guidance. People who are visually impaired rely on TVs with voice guidance, and in order to promote their usability, Panasonic and Mitsubishi Electric developed a framework through which they can promote their existence and functionality together to people with visual impairments. Some of the activities include:
- Organize events that introduce these products and offer opportunities to test them out
- Produce pamphlets introducing the voice guidance function, and distributing them at sales outlets nationwide
- Develop and operate a "voice guidance portal site" dedicated to introducing the voice guidance function and operating instructions
Panasonic and Mitsubishi Electric have also been inviting other companies who provide products with voice guidance to join the "voice guidance portal site" to help promote the availability of products with voice guidance together.
*Voice guidance function. This function, which reads out the names of the channel and program you're watching as well as the digital program listing, is available on TVs, Blu-ray Disc recorders, IC recorders, etc.
Making TVs with voice guidance available across the world
- IAUD Award Silver - Global launch of Panasonic TVs with voice guidance
In 2010, Panasonic introduced TVs with voice guidance to the Japanese market. Then it began offering voice guidance on overseas models from 2012. By 2013, voice guidance was available in 25 languages on approximately 350 models sold in regions like Europe, Asia, and North and South America. Panasonic products have helped enriched the lives of not only the able-bodied persons, but also the elderly with deteriorating eyesight and people with visual impairments.
[Silver] Solar Lanterns
- IAUD Award Silver - Panasonic's solar lanterns
These solar lanterns have solar cells that create energy during the day, which is stored in the storage battery. This energy can then be used to provide light as a lantern or as a power source to charge small electrical devices like mobile phones. These lanterns provide clean and dependable light and power to people living in areas without access to electricity.
Other products were also selected for the IAUD Award.
Wireless door monitor VL-SDM300
These very easy to install door monitors do not require any construction work. Even people who are not mechanically savvy can install them. These door monitors will enable you to check to see who is at the door with a push of a button making you feel more safe and secure even when home alone.
Three size variations of the tilted drum washer dryers
The three size variations of tilted drum washer dryers such as the "Tall Type," which has a higher door, making it easier to reach into the drum, and the "Compact Type" that takes up less space, meet the needs of a wider range of consumers.
LED light bulb package for the overseas market
This new package is easy to handle and has been designed so that consumers can see what is inside at a glance. It is also very easy to open and remove the product, and the package may be easily separated into different materials for disposal.
These safe, blade-less fans are slim and compact in design and allows you to place the fan in the location of your choice.
Communication Aids "Let's Chat"
This device helps people with both speech impairment and upper body paralysis to communicate.
Life Innovation Container
A standalone energy system housed in a shipping container equipped with solar panels, storage batteries, and charge-discharge control helps provide electricity to areas without access to electricity and areas affected by natural disasters.
About IAUD Award
The IAUD Award was established in 2010 to recognize "groups and individuals who have conducted or proposed particularly noteworthy activities aimed at realizing a UD society in which everyone - regardless of age, gender, nationality, ethnicity, culture, nationality, customs, or other factors - can live comfortably, without feeling any undue inconvenience."
>> Official Website: http://www.iaud.net/global/award/index.php
About the International Association for Universal Design (IAUD)
The International Association for Universal Design, the largest organization in Japan that promotes universal design, was established in November 2003 to help with the development of a healthy society and lifestyles by making universal design products more widely available. There are 98 full members, 15 associate members, and 90 supporting members (as of November 21, 2013).