This morning, Panasonic gave us a quick overview of their “product innovations”, that are due to hit stores sometime this year. Starting off with a recap of Panasonic’s previous ‘smart TV’ efforts and innovations, the focus quickly moved onto what Panasonic has been working on, and what will be featured in their 2013 product line-up, including a new range of Viera Smart TVs, several speaker systems, Network Media Streamers and imaging devices.
A headline feature for Panasonic’s 2013 Viera Smart TV line-up is ‘my Home Screen’, which allows customised home screens, allowing specified content to be previewed upon launch, as well as access to weather, photos and social networking. ‘my Home Screen’ allows up to 5 custom home screens, which Panasonic say is “perfect for the whole family”. Certain TV’s within their new line-up feature a built-in camera, for facial recognition and voice control.
Other features included in the Viera line-up include ‘swipe and share 2.0’, allowing easy sharing of photos between Android/iOS devices and the Smart TV for viewing and editing, and better YouTube integration, which makes it easier to send videos from your smartphone to your TV, allowing viewing and easy playback control. Overall, 32 Viera HD TVs will be launched in 2013, 16 Plasma, which range in sizes from 42″ to 64″, and 16 LED, ranging from 32″ to 65″.
There was little innovation to be seen in Panasonic’s new audio line-up, with a set of Bone Conduction Bluetooth Headphones being the first product demoed. These headphones, which have been optimised for “music and the spoken word”, appear to be aimed at those who experience hearing difficulty, allowing them to watch TV and not have to “turn up the volume to hear properly”.
Another product unveiled today was a Universal Tablet Wireless Speaker System (pictured above), which boasts a 2.1 channel set up and Bluetooth wireless music streaming, allowing for “an immersive tablet movie experience”. Several other speaker systems, either docked or wireless, were announced today, with the docked options featuring an updated lighting connect, allowing iPhone 5 and iPad Mini devices to be directly connected to the system.
Panasonic also announced several Blu-Ray Disc Players and Streaming Media players to accompany the new Viera line-up. The two Media Streamers will both feature “gaming, music, social and networking connectivity” in addition to a web browser and Panasonic’s new MirrorCast technology. This functionality will also be available on specific ‘smart’ Blu-Ray Players.
In terms of imaging devices from Panasonic, again there isn’t anything terribly new or innovative, but they have updated previous models, both cameras and camcorders to include “connectivity with smart devices and HD TV’s”. Several models announced feature built-in WiFi, which allows sharing of photos and video as well as live view control and real time broadcasting. Panasonic says this will bring “new levels of performance and function” to their line-up.