Panasonic’s 2012 line up: Eluga, Smart TVs, and the digital home

ANALYSIS: Following the news that Panasonic is jumping back into the European smartphone market, we bring you a full run down of the themes and products to come out of Panasonic’s European Convention. 

 

Consumer electronics giant Panasonic this week gave dealers and journalists a hands on look at its extremely broad 2012 range of products – and in the process laid out its mission statement for smart TVs, and announced its return to the European smartphone market.

You can read the full story on the Eluga, Panasonic’s 4.3 inch smartphone here. The firm thinks it will shift 1.5 million of them in Europe in the next fiscal year.

The convention coincides with the 50th anniversary of Panasonic’s European business, and it used the keynote to boast of its success in a number of areas, and lay out its new Smart Viera strategy – which can be boiled down to using smartphones and tablets to control TVs, and having more inbuilt  options to directly pull online content.

A classic example of this is a new alliance with the, now relatively sparsely populated, social media site MySpace. Another is building Skype into a TV screen.  

Smart TVs is clearly one of the firm’s main pushes for the future, and in general the concept of the ‘digital home’ – which we’ve heard for nearly a decade now – is certainly being prioritised at the firm’s R&D division. It’s not that these technologies or ideas are particularly new, but you get the impression that the application of, for instance, controlling audio or TV with a phone, is more of a solid one than ever before.  

New mouse like remote controls, internet sites crow barred onto the screen, and inbuilt download services reveal the – now well established – strategy by large scale CE firms to make modern TVs essentially PCs.

In general, its 2012 range of hi-fis, TVs, phones, cameras, and projectors is now more than ever designed communicate with and control one another, be that opening an iPod dock with an iPad, or flicking a picture from a phone to the TV screen with a swipe.   

Almost as an aside, a selection of journalists was taken aside to give feedback on a new head mounted camera Panasonic are developing. Almost everything is up in the air at the moment, but the idea behind it seems to be that it would be used in the home ‘to record your day’.

While the rugged, outdoor headset market does well with extreme sports fans, this concept piece seemed somewhat differently targeted. The video we saw showed a woman amused by the pattern a couple of eggs had made in the pan, which prompted her to pop the headset on and record the event, later showing it to friends. 

Click to the next page for a run down of Panasonic’s 2012 range.

 

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