Panasonic To Show Next-Generation Consumer Technology Concepts at South By Southwest 2017
Intrapreneur groups form over-the-horizon product and solution ideas, in collaboration with research institutions, including Parsons School of Design
Osaka, Japan - In addition to a long-term effort to spur innovation internally and to revitalize and accelerate its product planning and development, Panasonic Corporation has chosen South by Southwest (SXSW) as the setting to preview working models of next-generation home electronics product and service concepts that incorporate ideas with an open innovation approach, from beyond internal development resources. The product and service ideas, as well as the technologies behind them, will be demonstrated from March 11-14 at the Parkside (301 E 6th St., Austin, TX 78701), a site just minutes from the Austin Convention Center. By rolling out the exhibit at South By Southwest and inviting diverse industry and social leaders, visionaries, and taste-makers to give their feedback on the prototypes, Panasonic's "intrapreneur" groups expect to establish new, non-traditional channels of communication and receive valuable feedback. Some Panasonic engineers and planners are collaborating with graduate students from Parsons School of Design.
"We aim to make various innovative challenges happen based on open collaboration," said Tetsuro Homma, President of Panasonic Corporation's Appliance Company. "Panasonic is taking steps to reimagine and reinvigorate its home electronics development process through an infusion of outside thinking and deep collaboration with generators of fresh business and technology ideas. We have already seen some great design and partnership ideas come out of this collaborative effort and some of them will definitely be incorporated into businesses we are planning to provide to serve the needs of consumers around the world."
The eight business ideas which will be demonstrated are based on the concept of "the future of home appliances in 2025," taking into account changes in the economic environment, including the sharing economy, and the evolution of technologies such as AI, IoT, and robotics. Covering three categories - Food, Wellness and Lifestyle, the prototypes are designed to provide service that meets each end-user's needs, engage their emotions and build long-term relationships, rather than terminating the customer relationship at the point of sales for the goods and services.
Panasonic House @ SXSW2017 Exhibition Overview
Business Ideas to be Exhibited
1. The Ferment
This is a concept of a smart fermentation cooking kit and service package that enables anyone to enjoy delicious home-fermented foods easily. Fresh malt and ingredients are delivered direct from the growers and producers; this specialized device is then able to apply the optimum temperature and control for each specific ingredient. With rising interest in health and beauty benefits, fermented foods are attracting wide attention; Panasonic seeks to achieve an accurate temperature control according to specific types of food and user preferences and automatic & optimal temperature management based on experts' recipes. Using original apps, this service supports the obtainment of food, manages the fermenting process, and proposes various menus, providing life with fermented food. In addition, connecting users and food experts, Panasonic will build a platform for related food communities.
Panasonic is proposing special cooking appliances that can soften home-cooked meals while keeping the appearance and taste. This concept model enables people with dysphasia or swallowing disorders due to aging or injury to eat without preparing liquid food or special-care food separately. This is an under-developed cooking hardware concept to prepares food for people with dysphasia and swallowing disorder by successfully softening food, such as meat and fish, which contain a lot of protein which prevents food to be softened. By achieving an easy-to-carry, compact design in the future, we will try to enable users to enjoy meals with family while traveling. Also, in the future, Panasonic will seek to develop this solution into a community business and deepen ties with DeliSofter users, for example by developing special recipes in collaboration with them.
Panasonic developed, in cooperation with a service partner, a service model prototype to help "lunch refugees" who are becoming a social problem in city business districts. This service provides healthy, delicious, nutritionally balanced lunches that are customized for each customer. The service is realized by three key technologies: 1) smart lockers, 2) smart payments, and 3) a monitoring system including stock, temperature, and power supply. Panasonic expects to realize commercialization of this service platform through collaboration with external service partners.
4. Sake Cooler
By inserting a Japanese sake bottle into this cooling device, you can see detailed information on the brewery and recommended foods, in addition to the basic function of cooling sake to the optimal temperature. The preference of the user is stored in the device as logged data so that the sake cooler distinguishes the preference of each user from the past data. Finally the machine proposes other sakes matching user's preferences. As a platform to deepen the ties between sake brewers throughout Japan and sake lovers, Panasonic aims to build a worldwide community business in the future.
5. A.M.P. (Ambient Media Player)
Taking a step back from our experience of the TV business and device development, we asked the question: " Which video and sound content truly satisfies the hearts of people living in urban areas?" Now Panasonic is developing a media player which matches furniture and fixtures in living spaces such as the living room and public spaces such as the office, hotels and restaurants. A.M.P. provides high quality content curated from all over the world. Not as a home appliance but as a part of the home interior, A.M.P. aims to propose a sophisticated combination between the display and an AV contents platform which enhances the value of the living space, and new community bridging creators and users.
This is a new clothing care system that redefines the idea of "laundry" as housework. Rather than relying on the dry cleaners for your favorite clothes, you can wash them at home, adding special effects depending on your feeling of the day, such as adding your favorite fragrance. By hanging a piece of your favorite clothing in the MonStyle, you can wash clothes without worrying about wrinkles and fraying caused by different types of material rubbing against each other, as could occur in a conventional washing machine. In addition, you can customize the detergent according to specific conditions, such as type of material and level of staining while adding various effects such as scent and UV protection. Panasonic will continue to develop varieties of special detergents in cooperation with external partner companies.
This solution can quickly scan and detect the ingredients of cooked dishes, then measure the calories and three major kinds of nutrients contained in the dishes. This was developed to remove burdens from users who need daily dietary management, such as patients with diabetes and their families. Panasonic's proprietary analysis method using near-infrared ray analysis technology has made it possible to measure calories in about ten seconds (test result), as opposed to the conventional method requiring tens of minutes. In addition, Panasonic plans to further develop related services, such as recommending customized recipes that meet the users' needs, by automatically recording and managing measured calories and nutrients information as logged data.
8. Social Appearance Coaching Device
Panasonic developed this wearable equipment service for the wellness field based on an idea coming from hackathons with universities and research institutes in the US. Focusing on how stress and activity data can be utilized for mind and body health, coaching services are being studied that use body posture, voice, activity and stress data for adults who are trying to improve their communication skills. Panasonic aims to start services for enterprises and is looking for partner companies.
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