Panasonic is turning heads at the Expo 2020 Dubai.
Postponed by one year because of the COVID pandemic, the Expo - the first of its kind is held in the Middle East/Africa region - is running from October 2021 until March 2022. 192 countries are participating, each hosting their own booth showcasing solutions from their leading companies aimed at improving the convenience and quality of modern life under the theme "Connecting Minds, Creating the Future".
While home appliances like refrigerators and washing machines have traditionally been the focus in this region, there is growing emphasis on the quality of something that is invisible - the air that we breathe.
When taking care of our health, we understandably pay attention to the quantity and quality of food we eat. Yet while the average person consumes approximately 1.3 kg of food and the same amount of fluid every day, we each breathe in around 18 kg of air, along with all of the airborne bacteria and viruses it contains.
How do we ensure that our air is, literally, fit to breathe - particularly in shared public spaces like schools, offices, hospitals and shopping centers?
Panasonic has been focusing on this very issue for many years, and has developed a range of products that help improve and maintain air quality. It is therefore well placed to address the increased concern about airborne virus transmission driven by the COVID pandemic and the accompanying awareness of the need for clean, safe air.
Recent years, Panasonic has implemented a global campaign under the theme of "Quality Air For Life". As a key part of the campaign, the company is showcasing two of its state-of-the-art solutions that help ensure good quality air at the Japan Pavilion at the Expo 2020 Dubai.
The first is nanoe™ technology - a bespoke Panasonic breakthrough air purification and deodorization solution that monitors and inhibits the level of viruses present in the air. nanoe uses electrostatic atomized water particles that are rich in OH radicals to neutralize viruses, and it is also effective against pollutants, bacteria, and fungi. The latest "X" version of the solution has up to ten times the purification power of the original.
There are three versions of the solution:
- the nanoe™ X Air Conditioner, offering healthy dust-free heating and cooling
- the nanoe™ X Air Purifier, offering protection against odors and pollutants
- the nanoe™ X Generator, a compact and portable tumbler-sized device requiring zero maintenance.
nanoe™ X particles can neutralize strong odors and inhibit harmful pollutants, including mold, allergens and pollen, in addition to bacteria and viruses. They can remove the tiniest of dust particles from the air and from fabrics, and can even moisturize skin and hair. The nanoe™ X generator requires no maintenance, as it primarily utilizes water that is present in the air.
The second solution on show at the Expo 2020 Dubai is ziaino™ - air sterilization technology which inhibits bacteria and viruses in commercial environments through the use of hypochlorous acid derived from the electrolysis of saltwater. It collects invisible moisture in the air and applies a high voltage to it to produce hydroxyl radicals encased in minute water droplets.
As well as purifying indoor air, molecules released by the hypochlorous acid can eliminate bacteria and viruses adhering to objects and surfaces. This makes ziaino™ an ideal solution for a whole range of public venues, including restaurants, hotels, and hospitals, as well as schools, offices, and shopping malls.
Panasonic will continue to leverage its Quality Air For Life product portfolio to help combat the evolution of new microorganisms and viruses, aiming to create healthy environments for people around the world. After all, what could be more precious than the air that we breathe?
In addition to these clean air solutions, Panasonic also showcased its MirAIe home appliance control system at Expo 2020 Dubai. This allows smartphone set-up and monitoring of home appliances, lighting and air conditioning, which further lowers the risk of infection transmission in the home, reducing as it does the need to touch switches and devices. It also helps reduce power consumption.
The MirAIe solution includes a number of everyday devices incorporating new innovations:
- Smart refrigerators featuring advanced temperature and humidity control, allowing both fresh and frozen food to be stored for longer. Future models will monitor the quantity of key items remaining and alert users when essential supplies run low, offering them a one-click option on their smartphones to order fresh supplies.
- Programmable air conditioners that allow the temperature and on/off timing to be customized for each room on an hourly basis. For example, a living room can be set to be cooler towards bedtime and then gradually warm up as morning draws near. Built-in proximity monitors sense when a room has been unoccupied for a set period, and adjust their output accordingly.
- A smart door-video facility that allows users to view and communicate with visitors from their smartphone before deciding whether to admit them, helping ensure improved security in the home, particularly for those living alone.
A further benefit of the MirAIe solution is that all connected appliances can be monitored and controlled when outside the home. In addition, the platform notifies users via their smartphones when appliances need servicing, ensuring that they continue to operate reliably and efficiently.
A further area in which Panasonic showcased its solutions at the Expo is facial recognition technology, something the company has also been working on for many years. While this was initially seen as a means of managing security and facilitating smooth access to commercial venues, the COVID-19 pandemic has driven a supplementary need in this space - the need to determine whether someone is wearing a mask or not.
In response, Panasonic has applied deep-learning and proprietary image processing technology to its core facial recognition capabilities, resulting in a solution that can recognize masks and to detect people who are not wearing them. This can simply be incorporated into video monitoring facilities at commercial premises, providing alerts to administrative or security personnel.
In addition to these varied solutions, Panasonic's projection mapping and mist dispersal technology is on display in the public exhibition area of the Japanese Pavilion at the Dubai Expo, creating interactive scenes and immersive experiences for visitors during individual guided tours through the floating soft mist. This promotional video provides a summary of what to expect. The Expo is open to visitors till end of March 2022.
Commented Hiroyuki Shibutani, Managing Director, Panasonic Marketing Middle East & Africa, "The World Expo has provided us with a platform to highlight the innovations that have made this world a better place to live in, and we are excited to be partnering with the Japan Pavilion to showcase the country's development of the technologies of tomorrow."
He added, "In line with the Japan Pavilion's theme 'Where Ideas Meet', Panasonic is committed to bringing cutting-edge innovations, expertise and experience cultivated over a century to make every home, office, school a healthy, safe, and comfortable space."
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