If a wireless light bulb wasn't quite the Jetson's style future you were hoping for, perhaps Panasonic's planned expansion of its smart home appliances will better scratch that itch. From next month, there'll be an Android app to let you remotely operate appliances, view energy savings and program settings via NFC. Hardware-wise, the electronics giant is introducing connected air conditioners, refrigerators, washer-dryers as well as smaller devices such as blood pressure monitors and calorie meters. Along with remote control, there appears to be some supportive cloud-based services too, such as reporting device faults to customer service and generating reports (from the healthcare products). When can you get a taste of the future? September 25th if you live in
Orbit City Japan. As for the rest of the world? We'll just have to be patient.
Panasonic to Expand Smart Home Appliance Lineup with Full-Scale Launch of Smart Cloud Services
Osaka, Japan - Panasonic Corporation today announced the significant expansion of its lineup of smart home appliances and the full-scale launch of cloud-based services in Japan dedicated to Panasonic's home appliances ranging from white goods, such as air conditioners and refrigerators, to kitchen appliances and healthcare devices. Dubbed Panasonic Smart App and available from late September, the application will allow users of compatible Panasonic home appliances to remotely operate their appliances, program settings and see the energy savings of each appliance by using Android™ smartphones*1.
Panasonic has already been providing the cloud services for owners of the latest models of its 3-Star Bistro steam microwave oven and induction heating (IH) steam rice cooker which were launched in June 2012, enabling them to search for recipes and program cooking instructions using Android™ smartphones.
The new smart appliances which will be launched from September 25 in Japan will include Panasonic's X Series room air conditioners, a top-mount refrigerator (NR-F557XV), drum-type washer-dryers (NA-VX8200/NA-VT8200), as well as healthcare products such as the EW-FA43 body composition monitor, the EW-NK63 calorie meter and EW-BW53 blood pressure monitor. The new air conditioners can also be operated with Apple's iPhones™*2 as well as Android phones.
Panasonic's smart solutions are designed to make the user's everyday life more comfortable, convenient and energy efficient. Via the Panasonic Smart App, for example, users can control their air conditioners remotely from outside the home*3, check if the refrigerator is running efficiently, or set their preferred washing cycle using their smartphone. The new app also allows owners of the Panasonic healthcare products to create graphs tracking their weight and calories consumed by everyday activities among other things, making it easier to manage daily healthcare data. Furthermore, customer support such as checking device malfunctions will also be available.
The app will be available free of charge from the Club Panasonic website*4. By simply registering as a user of Panasonic smart appliances, users can enjoy the service. Because the Panasonic Smart App is a cloud service, users can download the most up-to-date information, such as recipes or device settings, from the server any time.
With these smart offerings, Panasonic proposes customers a more convenient, comfortable and enjoyable lifestyle.
*1: Smartphones running on Android Version 2.3.3 or higher supporting Osaifu-Keitai®FeliCa or NFC (with some exceptions). Initial settings are required in advance when first using the Osaifu-Keitai function on smartphones. "Osaifu-Keitai" is a registered trademark of NTT DoCoMo. FeliCa is a registered trademark of Sony Corporation. FeliCa is a contactless IC card technology developed by Sony Corporation. Android is a trademark and registered trademark of Google Inc. Services cannot be used in areas with poor signal. For details on smartphones which can use this service, refer to the list at http://panasonic.jp/pss/qa/taiou_list.html.
*2: iPhone is a trademark of Apple Inc.
*3: In order to remotely operate the air conditioner, a broadband router, a wireless gateway (CF-TC7, sold separately) and a wireless adaptor (CF-TA9, sold separately) are required.
*4: An exclusive application, Panasonic Smart App, has to be downloaded. To download the application and access the server will require a separate communication fee.