The Automotive & Industrial Systems Company of Panasonic Corporation is challenging to develop new businesses and services in the IoT field, in cooperation with Silicon Valley startups.
Panasonic is advancing the development of new IoT services and solutions by combining leading UI/UX(*1) technology with its strong HMI (human machine interface) design technology, which has been refined through the smartphone switch business and automotive touch panel business.
To demonstrate this initiative, Panasonic set up a display booth at CES 2018 (Sands Expo), which took place in Las Vegas, Nevada, US from January 9 (Tuesday) to 12 (Friday), 2018. With the concept of “Touch by Panasonic,” solutions featuring the natural interface between people and things were showcased with actual applications for homes and factories, as well as hands-on and interactive demonstrations. Panasonic collaborated with customers to create services that can be activated by a touch operation, which is the most natural interface for users.
Panasonic is promoting the development of hardware and services with a focus on user experience, using the lean startup method(*2). Panasonic strengthens collaboration with startups, and accelerates the creation of unique services and businesses.
*1: UI (User Interface) is the interface between users and devices. UX (User Experience) is experience gained by users through a service, etc.
*2: The lean startup method is a business startup method in which the user and market needs are clarified step-by-step through repetitive hypothesis generation and testing in short cycles and at a low cost
One Touch Home Automation “eny”
This demonstration was to have visitors experience a “convenient” Smart Home with the one-tap function on offer. With this function, it is possible to make various aspects of life more comfortable by simply touching a switch.
By combining energy-harvesting technology with highly-secure wireless technology, Panasonic developed a small, high-efficiency, maintenance-free IoT switch named “eny Switch.” It is a service platform triggered by “eny switch” that enables the control of various smart devices (smart speakers, smart lights, etc.) and can be integrated with cloud services and smartphone apps.
The value of this service
By offering services featuring “eny Switch,” Panasonic proposes ways to make various aspects of life more comfortable. For example, lighting control that enables all the lights to be turned off at once, a smart speaker for hearing upcoming personal event and playing personally favorite background music, and a security monitor that can easily change the surveillance settings will help create a convenient and comfortable living space for residents through simple operations.
Residential houses, elderly facilities, hotels, offices, etc.
One Touch ID Authentication
This demonstration was proposed realizing of a factory solution featuring easy ID authentication with communication of “authorization information” offered. This solution is useful to prevent problems when factory workers use tools.
Panasonic developed a communication module using electric-field communication technology that allows authentication and communication procedures to be carried out with a natural touching motion. It is a service platform to interface “people and things,” which enables equipment operations according to workers’ tag information.
The value of this solution
By further simplifying authentication actions, Panasonic proposes a world where “people and things” are easily and naturally interfaced. For example, by using ID authentication to link electric tools and a worker wearing a wristband tag containing authorization information, the operability of a tool can be quickly assessed and task support provided according to the worker’s skills, therefore helping factories improve work safety and production efficiency.
Factories, offices, hospitals, etc
Panasonic exhibited the “camera stabilizer” to be released in March 2018 as a developer kit. Visitors were able to experience the benefit of image stabilizer function under any severe vibration.
Panasonic developed an actuator capable of simultaneous drive of three axes combining image stabilizer and tracking functions. This device realizes the development of a camera with a stabilizer capable of reproducing a perfect image of an object under any circumstance.
The value of this solution
This camera stabilizer, whose performance is comparable to the “human eye,” is anticipated to be used in the fields of drones and robots, whose application will continue to expand. It is possible to reproduce high-quality clear images since the camera can steadily track a fast moving object, or one that makes sudden rapid actions under any circumstance.
Drones, robots, extreme sports, etc.